The manors laid waste by William the Conqueror in 1066AD

Anglo Saxon
History
Map Position

This map is centered on Westfield in Sussex.

Map Logic

This map shows the relative population size and damage suffered by villages near Battle in Sussex after the Norman Conquest in 1066AD. The data is derived from the Open Domesday Book(links provided at the bottom of the page). The black lines show known Roman Roads, the Red ones ancient trackways(Ivan D Margary), with the purple ones showing implied Roman roads provided by place names.


 
Icon Key:
Not Effected < 20 people
Not Effected 20‑40 people
Not Effected 40‑80 people
Not Effected 80‑120 people
Not Effected > 120 people
Damaged < 20 people
Damaged 20‑40 people
Damaged 40‑80 people
Damaged 80‑120 people
Damaged > 120 people
Wasted < 20 people
Wasted 20‑40 people
Wasted 40‑80 people
Wasted 80‑120 people
Wasted > 120 people
 

This map is designed to show the relative population size and the damage caused to the villages around the Hastings area in 1066AD.


The Motte and Bailey Fort is constructed and the villages destroyed
please click the image to go to the bayeuxtapestry.org.uk for further details.

Looking at the map it would seem that the majority of the 'Wasted' villages start in the Filsham valley then spread out toward the extremeties of the Hastings peninsular following the old Roman Roads/Trackways.
'Wasted' is a term used in the Domesday Book to describe villages that were totally destroyed by the invasion in 1066AD.

Looking to the West, it can be seen that only a couple of small villages near Pevensey were 'wasted' which implies that the main landing didn't take place on the Pevensey side of the Estuary, although there was some damage caused to the villages along the old Roman Road from Pevensey to Lewes.

The implication of this map is that the main Norman landing occurred along the coast between Bexhill and into the Filsham valley, this is likely as the main tidal flow is from west to east along the Sussex coast. It is also likely as the Normans must have known about the safe harbour at Hastings(Filsham Valley) due to imports/exports along the Sussex coast.

It may nowadays seem unlikely that this was the old Hastings harbour as its a long way from modern Hastings, however the valley was used by the Romans to export pig iron to Gaul so it must have been a deep water harbour then, and until the storm in 1286AD which blocked the Rother at New Romney, and probably sea access to the Filsham valley it is likely that this was the main port of Hastings.

The Rother valley appears to have been scouted as Salehurst, Drigsell and Higham were wasted, this means that William knew about the old Roman road to Gravesend, which in turn means that if Harold had been travelling down this road that the Norman scouts would have easily been able to watch his progress and the Battle would most likely have been fought in the Sedlescome area with the Saxons having to fight uphill.

Because of the above argument it would seem likely that Harold would have come down the London to Lewes road, cut through the forest of Andredsweald via the old ridgeway track from Crowborough to Netherfield, which would have made it more difficult for William to track his progress.


Total Population of the 18 Domesday Villages in 1086AD shown is 344
This would equate to a Fyrd(national service) of approximately 85 soldiers.


Please Note that the estimate for the Fyrd is based on 25% of the
population(excluding Priests and Slaves) being eligible for military duties.



External References in no particular order :-
Original Manuscripts of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Roman Britain.org
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)

 

Copyright saxonhistory.co.uk 2013 - 2017
Contact me
Author: Simon M       Document Created: 2017-03-30
Data is derived from a number or sources including the Ordnance Survey Gazetter data overlayed onto Google Maps