Saxon Seaxe Anglo Saxon History
Map Position
This map shows the position of locations centered on Telham in Sussex.
Map Logic
This map shows the area around Battle and Hastings in 1066.

Roman roads are shown as black lines, red lines show old Roman Ridge trackways and purple lines show theoretical Roman roads implied by village and road names.

The thickness of the road implies the width of the Roman metalled surface.

The sea is shown raised by 5 metres to accomodate the high tide level changes since 1066 see our Sea Level page.

The green shaded area shows what we believe is the area of the impassible Forest of Andredsweald.

Battle of Hastings AD1066 - Phase 14 - Saxon Reconoitre

Harold and Gurth reconnoitre the Norman Camp.


Battle of Hastings AD1066 - Phase 14 - Saxon Reconoitre
Harold and Gurth reconnoitre the Norman Camp.
This page shows the documentary evidence from translated original documents

Anglo Saxon Chronicles

No reference to this subject in this document.

Battle Abbey Chronicles

No reference to this subject in this document.


No reference to this subject in this document.

Carmen de Triumpho Normannico

Meanwhile as the encampment darkened, the heir of fraud
Under cover of night came coursing like a thief
The king ordered his men to arms, still in concealment from the Duke
He ordered the columns attack if they would prevail

Florence of Worcester

No reference to this subject in this document.

Henry of Huntingdon

No reference to this subject in this document.

Master Wace

At break of day in the morning, Harold rose and Gurth with him. Noble chiefs were they both. Two warhorses were brought for them, and they issued forth from their entrenchment. They took with them no knight, varlet on foot, nor squire ; and neither of them bore other arms than shield, lance and sword; their object being to reconnoitre the Normans, and to know where and how they were posted. They rode on, viewing and examining the ground, till from a hill where they stood they could see those of the Norman host, who were near. They saw a great many huts made of branches of trees, tents well equipped, pavilions and gonfanons ; and they heard horses neighing, and beheld the glittering of armour. They stood a long while without speaking; nor do I know what they did, or what they said, or what counsel they held together there ; but on their return to their tent Harold spoke first.

' Brother/' said he, ' yonder are many people, and the Normans are very good knights, and well used to bear arms. What say you ? what do you advise ? With so great a host against us, I dare not do otherwise than fall back upon London : I will return thither and assemble a larger army.'

' Harold !' said Gurth, ' thou base coward ! This counsel has come too late ; it is of no use now to flinch, we must move onward. Base coward! when I advised you, and got the barons also to beseech you, to remain at London and let me fight, you would not listen to us, and now you must take the consequence. You would take no heed of any thing we could say ; you believed not me or any one else; now you are willing, but I will not. You have lost your pride too soon ; quickly indeed has what you have seen abated your courage. If you should turn back now, every one would say that you ran away. If men see you flee, who is to keep your people to gether ? and if they once disperse, they will never be brought to assemble together again.'

Thus Harold and Gurth disputed, till their words grew angry, and Gurth would have struck his bro ther, had he not spurred his horse on, so that the blow missed, and struck the horse behind the sad dle, glancing along Harold's shield. Had it gone aright, it would have felled him to the ground. Gurth thus vented his humour, charging his brother with cowardice ; but they galloped on to the tents, and shewed no sign of their dispute, neither let any ill will appear between them, when they saw their people coming. Lewine, Harold's next brother after Gurth, had also arisen early, and gone to Harold's tent ; and when he found not his two brothers where he left them over night, he thought he should see them no more. ' By Heaven,' cried he, 'they have been taken and delivered to their ene mies ;' for he thought they must either have been killed, or betrayed to the Normans; and he ran forth like a madman, shouting and crying out as if he had lost his senses. But when he learned where they were, and that they had gone out to reconnoitre the Normans, he and his companions, and the earls and barons, mounted quickly upon their horses, and set out from the tents; when behold ! they met the bro thers. The barons took it ill that they went so imprudently, and without any guard; but all turned back to the tents, and prepared for battle.

When they came in front of the enemy, the sight alarmed them grievously; and Harold sent forth two spies to reconnoitre the opposite troops, and see what barons and armed men the duke had brought with him. As they drew near to his army, they were observed, and being taken before William, were sore afraid. But when he learnt what was their errand, and that they wanted to estimate his strength, he had them taken through all the tents, and shewed the whole host to them. Then he used them exceeding well, gave them abundantly to eat and drink, and let them go without injury or molestation.

When they returned to their lord, they spoke very honourably of the duke; and one of them, who had seen that the Normans were so close shaven and cropt, that they had not even moustaches, supposed he had seen priests and mass-sayers; and he told Harold that the duke had more priests with him than knights or other people. But Harold replied, 'Those are valiant knights, bold and brave warriors, though they bear not beards or moustaches as we do.'

THEN the duke chose a messenger, a monk learned and wise, well instructed and experienced, and sent him to king Harold. He gave him his choice, to take which he would of three things. He should either resign England and take his daughter to wife; or submit to the good judgment of the apostle and his people ; or meet him singly and fight body to body on the terms that he who killed the other, or could conquer and take him prisoner, should have England in peace, nobody else suffering. Harold said he would do neither; he would neither perform his covenant, nor put the matter in judgment, nor would he meet him and fight body to body.

William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)

No reference to this subject in this document.

William of Malmesbury

No reference to this subject in this document.

Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

No reference to this subject in this document.

Phases of the Battle of Hastings 1066AD

No reference to this subject in this document.

External References in no particular order :-
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)
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)
The Spears of Andred
Find British Archaelogical Sites
Wealden Iron Research Group
Topographic Map of the UK


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Author: Simon M - Last Updated: 13/03/2024 13:12
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Data is derived from a number or sources including the Ordnance Survey Gazetter data overlayed onto Google Maps