Anglo Saxon History

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Map Position

This map shows the position of locations containing '' centered on Westfield 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 level is shown raised by 5 metres to accomodate the high tide level changes since 1066, if you zoom into the map over Battle then you will see that the only routes out of the Hastings Peninsular are through Battle and Netherfield.


 

Battle of Hastings - Reference - Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

This page references all the documentary evidence for locations that effected the Battle of Hastings in AD1066 which subsequently changed the course of British history from a Saxon State to a Norman State.

 

This page shows the documentary evidence for the locations of each Phase of the events in AD1066 culminating in Duke William being crowned William I of England


Phase 2 - Leading up to the crossing of the English Channel by the Normans.
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
From antiquity the port of Vimeu has been renown
Above is the fortress of St Valery

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
but I heard my father say I remember it well, although I was but a lad that there were seven hundred ships, less four, when they sailed from St. Valeri ;

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    
Duke William and the whole army committed themselves to God's protection, with prayers, and offerings, and vows, and accompanied a procession from the church, carrying the relics of St. Valeri, confessor of Christ, to obtain a favourable wind.

    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 3 - Crossing the English Channel
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    
Meantime Earl William came up from Normandy into Pevensey on the eve of St. Michael's mass; and soon after his landing was effected, they constructed a castle at the port of Hastings.

    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    
The sea is crowded with ships.
Ad Pevenesae
  (Towards Pevensey)


    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
Hitherto confined, the ships spread along the coast evenly
On the open sea you moor offshore.

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
They waited long at St. Valeri for a fair wind, and the barons were greatly wearied. Then they prayed the convent to bring out the shrine of St. Valeri, and set it on a carpet in the plain ; and all came praying the holy reliques, that they might be allowed to pass over sea.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 4 - The Landing and its location
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    
Meantime Earl William came up from Normandy into Pevensey on the eve of St. Michael's mass; and soon after his landing was effected, they constructed a castle at the port of Hastings.

    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
The duke, therefore, with a prodigious army, and attended by the divine favour, arrived safely near the castle called Pevensey. The soldiers leaped joyfully upon English ground at intervals along the shore.
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    
Troops disembark and are sent to Hastings to get provisions.
hic exeunt caballi de navibus et hic milites festinaverunt haestinga ut cibum raperentur
  (the horses are taken from the ships and the soldiers make haste to Hastings to seize food)



    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
Nor fear the Northern gale, but to a charming landing place
Nor the rocky coast looming perilous

Since leaving the sea behind when you seize a sheltered strand

The land belonging to you had been stripped of tenants
You rejoice as you and yours seize a peaceful arc of strand

    Florence of Worcester
    
While these events were passing, and when the king might have supposed that all his enemies were quelled, he received intelligence of the arrival of William, earl of Normandy, with an innumerable host of horsemen, slingers, archers, and foot soldiers, having taken into his pay auxiliary forces of great bravery from all parts of France ; and that he had moored his fleet at a place called Pevensey.

    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
The ships steered to one port; all arrived and reached the shore together ; together cast anchor, and ran on dry land ; and together they discharged themselves. They arrived near Hastings, and there each ship ranged by the other's side.

and they scoured the whole shore, but found not an armed man there.

They formed together on the shore, each armed up on his warhorse. All had their swords girded on, and passed into the plain with their lances raised.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    
The Norman expedition, therefore, crossed the sea on the night of the third of the calends of October [29th September], which the Catholic church observes as the feast of St. Michael the archangel, and, meeting with no resistance, and landing safely on the coast of England, took possession of Pevensey and Hastings, the defence of which was entrusted to a chosen body of soldiers, to cover a retreat and guard the fleet.

    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 5 - The Feast after landing
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
They occupied the advanced ground, next to where the archers had fixed themselves. The carpenters, who came after, had great axes in their hands, and planes and adzes hung at their sides. When they had reached the spot where the archers stood, and the knights were assembled, they consulted together, and sought for a good spot to place a strong fort upon. Then they cast out of the ships the materials, and drew them to land, all shaped framed and pierced to receive the pins which they had brought, cut and ready in large barrels ; so that before evening had well set in, they had finished a fort. Then you might see them make their kitchens, light their fires, and cook their meat. The duke sat down to eat, and the barons and knights had food in plenty; for he had brought ample store. All ate and drank enough, and were right glad that they were ashore.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 6 - Building the Forts
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
Things thus turning out according to his wishes, the duke did not long remain in that place, but went away with his men to a port not far distant called Hastings ; and there, having secured an appropriate place, and acting upon a prudent determination, he speedily built a castle of wood.

    Bayeux_Tapestry
    
The Motte and Bailey is built and the troops go off and burn the villages.
odo eps willelm rotbert
  (Bishop Odo, William and Robert)

iste jussit ut foderetur castellum at Hastenga
  (he ordered that a motte should be built at Hastings)

ceastre
  (the camp)

hic nuntiatum est willelm de harold
  (here William is told about Harold)

hic domus incenditur
  (here a house is burned)


    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    
Harold, king of England, returned to York the same day, with great triumph. But while he was at dinner, a messenger arrived with the news that William, duke of Normandy, had landed on the south coast and had built a fort at Hastings.

    Master Wace
    
Then they cast out of the ships the materials, and drew them to land, all shaped framed and pierced to receive the pins which they had brought, cut and ready in large barrels ; so that before evening had well set in, they had finished a fort.

Harold returned rejoicing and triumphing, bearing himself right proudly, when news met him that put other thoughts in his mind ; for lo ! the knight is come who set out from Hastings. ' The Normans,' he cried, ' are come ! they have landed at Hastings ! thy land will they wrest from thee, if thou canst not defend thyself well ; they have enclosed a fort, and strengthened it round about with palisades and a fosse.'

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 7 - Raiding the area
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
One Englishman kept hidden under the sea cliffs

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
The first day they held their course along the seashore ; and on the morrow came to a castle called Penevesel.

He well knew that the Normans were come, and that their object was to seize the land. He posted himself behind a hill, so that they should not see him, and tarried there, watching the arrival of the great fleet.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 8 - Warning to Harold
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    
This was then told to King Harold; and he gathered a large force, and came to meet him at the estuary of Hoar Appuldran.

    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
One Englishman kept hidden under the sea cliffs

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    
Harold, king of England, returned to York the same day, with great triumph. But while he was at dinner, a messenger arrived with the news that William, duke of Normandy, had landed on the south coast and had built a fort at Hastings.

    Master Wace
    
He well knew that the Normans were come, and that their object was to seize the land. He posted himself behind a hill, so that they should not see him, and tarried there, watching the arrival of the great fleet.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 9 - Battle of Stamford Bridge
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    
Earl Tosti joined him with his fleet, as they had before agreed, and they made all sail into the Humbor ; and then ascending the river Tyne against the current, landed their troops at a place called Eichale.

As soon as king Harold received this news, he marched with all expedition towards Northumbria.

Harold, king of England, having reached York, with many thousand well-armed troops, encountered the Norwegians at a place called Stanford Bridge.

    Henry of Huntingdon
    
When this intelligence reached Harold, king of England, he advanced with a powerful army, and came up with the invaders at Stanford Bridge.The battle was desperately fought, the armies being engaged from daybreak to noonday, when, after fierce attacks on both sides, the Norwegians were forced to give way before the superior numbers of the English, but retreated in good order.

    Master Wace
    
He found him beyond the Humber, in a town where he had just dined. Harold carried himself very loftily, for he had been beyond Humber, and had had great success in overcoming Tosti.

But Harold would not agree to this ; he would neither give nor exchange ought with him ; so Tosti became very wroth, and crossed over to Denmark, and brought with him Danes and Norwegians, and landed over against Eurowick.

Tosti was killed near Pontfrait, and his army besides suffered great loss. Then Harold set out on his return from Pontfrait, and glorified himself exceedingly.

Harold returned rejoicing and triumphing, bearing himself right proudly, when news met him that put other thoughts in his mind ; for lo ! the knight is come who set out from Hastings. ' The Normans,' he cried, ' are come ! they have landed at Hastings ! thy land will they wrest from thee, if thou canst not defend thyself well ; they have enclosed a fort, and strengthened it round about with palisades and a fosse.'

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 10 - Harold returns
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
to the place which is now called Battel, where the duke, surrounded by his battalions of cavalry, met him courageously.
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    
Thereupon the king led his army towards London by forced marches ; and, although he was very sensible that some of the bravest men in England had fallen in the two battles, and that one half of his troops was not yet assembled, he did not hesitate to meet the enemy in Sussex, without loss of time ; and on Saturday, the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd October], before a third of his army was in fighting order, he gave them battle at a place nine miles from Hastings, where they had built a fort.

    Henry of Huntingdon
    
Harold, king of England, returned to York the same day, with great triumph. But while he was at dinner, a messenger arrived with the news that William, duke of Normandy, had landed on the south coast and had built a fort at Hastings.

    Master Wace
    
The duke soon heard that Harold was assembling a great host, and that he was come to London from the north, where he had killed his brother Tosti.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    
Wherefore many, as they found opportunity, stealing away, deserted the king, as he was proceeding to the battle of Hastings.

    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 11 - William is alerted to Harold
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
Then he sent for Huon Margot , a tonsured monk of Fescam ; and as he was a learned man,well known, and much valued, the duke despatched him to Harold. And Margot set out on his way, and finding Harold at London, spoke to him thus : 'Harold ! hearken to me! I am a messenger, hear ye from whom ! The duke tells thee, by my mouth, that thou hast too soon forgotten the oath, which thou didst but lately take to him in Normandy, and that thou hast forsworn thyself.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 12 - Exchange of Messages
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
The monk was summoned. He took to the road without delay


Because the Duke had directed his envoy to proceed ever vigilant
The envoy detouring through the countryside
Approached unseen where the King was preparing the ambush
Neck twisting, face distorted, Harold
Said to the envoy ‘Go back Dullard’
The envoy retraced his path by the shortcut back

Where he advances there he lays planks of wood
And by this means makes dry crossings of rivers

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 13 - Norman and Saxon defenses
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
So he would not be detained, but set out from London, leading his men forward armed for the fight, till he erected his standard and fixed his gonfanon right where THE ABBEY OF THE BATTLE is now built.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 14 - Saxon Reconoitre
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
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
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
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.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 15 - Preparations for the Battle
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
Having arrived at a hill called Hechelande, situated in the direction of Hastings, while they were helping one another on with their armour, there was brought forth a coat of mail for the duke to put on, and by accident it was handed to him the wrong side foremost.

    Bayeux_Tapestry
    
William is ready to mount his horse and his cavalry move off.
hic milites exierunt de hestenga et venerunt ad prelium contra haroldum rege
  (Here the knights have left Hastings and have come to the battle against King Harold)


    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    
Harold, king of England, returned to York the same day, with great triumph. But while he was at dinner, a messenger arrived with the news that William, duke of Normandy, had landed on the south coast and had built a fort at Hastings.
The king hastened southwards to oppose him, and drew up his army on level ground in that neighbourhood.

    Master Wace
    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 16 - Evening before the Battle
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
For he saw the approach of enemy columns not far off
And the woods full of gleaming weapons
Suddenly a company of English emerged from the forest
And the column rushed from wooded cover
Nearby was a wooded hill, neighbouring the valley
Its terrain was rugged and uncultivated
The English as is their custom advancing crowded together
The king ascended the summit that he might wage war in the midst of his army
And the noblemen flanked him either side
At the summit of the hill a streaming banner was planted

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 17 - The Battle of Hastings
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
Upon the hill where the Abbey now stands, the English supported their king in a compact body But at

    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
The Duke below fearing mastery from the height checks the advancing column
And boldly approaches the steep slope

The thick mob of the english stand fixed to the ground

The sea is behind back by sea is the way to return

    Florence of Worcester
    
and on Saturday, the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd October], before a third of his army was in fighting order, he gave them battle at a place nine miles from Hastings, where they had built a fort.

The English being crowded in a confined position, many of them left their ranks, and few stood by him with resolute hearts ; nevertheless he made a stout resistance from the third hour of the day until nightfall, and defended himself with such courage and obstinacy, that the enemy almost despaired of taking his life.

    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
The duke stood on a hill, where he could best see his men ; the barons surrounded him, and he spoke to them proudly :' Much ought I,' said he, ' to love you all, and much should I confide in you; I thank you who have crossed the sea for me, and have come with me into this land.

Then all went to their tents and armed themselves as they best might ; and the duke was very busy, giving every one his orders ; and he was courteous to all the vassals, giving away many arms and horses to them.

Harold knew that the Normans would come and attack him hand to hand : so he had early enclosed the field in which he placed his men.

King Harold issued orders and made proclamation round, that all should be ranged with their faces toward the enemy ; and that no one should move from where he was ; so that whoever came might find them ready; and that whatever any one, be he Norman or other, should do, each should do his best to defend his own place.

They had built up a fence before them with their shields, and with ash and other wood ; and had well joined and wattled in the whole work, so as not to leave even a crevice; and thus they had a barricade in their front, through which any Nor man who would attack them must first pass.

The English stood in close ranks, ready and eager for the fight; and they had moreover made a fosse, which went across the field, guarding one side of their army.

MEANWHILE the Normans appeared, advancing over the ridge of a rising ground ; and the first division of their troops moved onwards along the hill and across a valley.

Meanwhile, a fresh company came in sight, covering all the plain ; and in the midst of them was raised the gonfanon that came from Rome.

The youths and common herd of the camp, whose business was not to join in the battle, but to take care of the harness and stores, moved off towards a rising ground. The priests and the clerks also ascended a hill, there to offer up prayers to God, and watch the event of the battle.

In the plain was a fosse, which the Normans had now behind them, having passed it in the fight with out regarding it. But the English charged and drove the Normans before them, till they made them fall back upon this fosse, overthrowing into it horses and men.

The English fell back upon a rising ground, and the Normans followed them across the valley, attacking them on foot and horseback.


    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    

the English troops, assembled from all parts of the neighbourhood, took post at a place which was anciently called Senlac.


    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 18 - Harold is killed
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
When the duke spies the king above on the steep hill

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Phase 19 - English Rout
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
Through cover and hiding places in the dense forest
Ever vigilant Hector followed the fleeing fugitives

    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    
The English who escaped from the field did not stop till they reached London, for they were in great fear, and cried out that the Normans followed close after them. The press was great to cross the bridge, and the river beneath it was deep ; so that the bridge broke under the throng, and many fell into the water.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
     The Normans, finding the English completely routed, pursued them vigorously all Sunday night, but not without suffering a great loss ; for, galloping onward in hot pursuit, they fell unawares, horses and armour, into an ancient trench, overgrown and concealed by rank grass, and men in their armour and horses rolling over each other, were crushed and smothered. This accident restored confidence to the routed English, for, perceiving the advantage given them by the mouldering rampart and a succession of ditches, they rallied in a body, and, making a sudden stand, caused the Normans severe loss.
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum
    
Therefore, the enemy taking flight through the steeps of the mountains and the hollows of the valleys


Phase 20 - After the Battle
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    

This battle was fought on the day of Pope Calixtus: and Earl William returned to Hastings, and waited there to know whether the people would submit to him. But when he found that they would not come to him, he went up with all his force that was left and that came since to him from over sea, and ravaged all the country that he overran, until he came to Berkhampstead;

    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
There lay between the hostile armies a certain dreadful precipice, caused either by a natural chasm of the earth, or by some convulsion of the elements. It was of considerable extent, and being overgrown with bushes or brambles was not very easily seen, and great numbers of men — principally Normans in pursuit of the English — were suffocated in it. Eor, ignorant of the danger, as they were running in a dis-orderly manner, they fell into the chasm and were fearfully dashed to pieces and slain. And the pit from this deplorable accident is still called Malfosse.

Having at length reached London, the chief city of the realm, he offered the citizens a treaty of peace, which they unwillingly accepted

    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    
And so carried with him, returned to his seaside camp
Swearing it better Harold was buried promptly on the coast of the port under a heap of stones

Therefore just as he had vowed high on a cliff
He ordered the body entombed on the ground at the summit.
That he may remain sentry over sea and strand

    Florence of Worcester
    
Earl William led his army back to Hastings.
Meanwhile, earl William was laying waste Sussex, Kent. Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex, and Herefordshire, and ceased not from burning vills and slaughtering the inhabitants, until he came to a vill called Beorcham [Berkhampstead], where Aldred, the archbishop, Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, Walter. bishop of Hereford, Edgar the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, and some Londoners of the better sort, with many others, met him, and, giving hostages, made their submission, and swore fealty to him ; but, although he concluded a treaty with them, he still allowed his troops to burn and pillage the vills.

    Henry of Huntingdon
    Master Wace
    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    
The victory being secured, the duke returned to the field of battle, where he viewed the dreadful carnage, which could not be seen without commiseration. There the flower of the youth and nobility of England covered the ground far and near stained with blood. Harold could not be discovered by his features, but was recognized by other tokens, and his corpse, being borne to the duke's camp, was, by order of the conqueror, delivered to William Mallet for interment near the seashore, which had long been guarded by his arms.

After providing for the decent interment of the dead the duke marched to Romney, and taking it by assault, revenged the slaughter of a party of his troops, who, having landed there by mistake, were fiercely attacked by the in- habitants and cruelly butchered, after great loss on both sides.
The duke then continued his march to Dover, where there was a large body of people collected, because they thought the position impregnable, the castle standing on the summit of a steep rock, overhanging the sea.
    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

Evidence for the Malfosse
    Anglo Saxon Chronicles
    Battle Abbey Chronicles
    
There lay between the hostile armies a certain dreadful precipice, caused either by a natural chasm of the earth, or by some convulsion of the elements. It was of considerable extent, and being overgrown with bushes or brambles was not very easily seen, and great numbers of men — principally Normans in pursuit of the English — were suffocated in it. Eor, ignorant of the danger, as they were running in a dis-orderly manner, they fell into the chasm and were fearfully dashed to pieces and slain. And the pit from this deplorable accident is still called Malfosse.

    Bayeux_Tapestry
    Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
    Florence of Worcester
    Henry of Huntingdon
    
Duke William, therefore, commanded his troops to make a feigned retreat. In their flight they happened unawares on a deep trench, which was treacherously covered, into which numbers fell and perished.

While the English were engaged in pursuit the main body of the Normans broke the centre of the enemy's line, which being perceived by those in pursuit over the concealed trench, when they were consequently recalled most of them fell there.

    Master Wace
    
The English stood in close ranks, ready and eager for the fight; and they had moreover made a fosse, which went across the field, guarding one side of their army.

In the plain was a fosse, which the Normans had now behind them, having passed it in the fight without regarding it. But the English charged and drove the Normans before them, till they made them fall back upon this fosse, overthrowing into it horses and men. Many were to be seen falling therein, rolling one over the other, with their faces to the earth, and unable to rise. Many of the English also, whom the Normans drew down along with them, died there. At no time during the day's battle did so many Normans die, as perished in that fosse. So those said who saw the dead.

    William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
    
The Normans, finding the English completely routed, pursued them vigorously all Sunday night, but not without suffering a great loss ; for, galloping onward in hot pursuit, they fell unawares, horses and armour, into an ancient trench, overgrown and concealed by rank grass, and men in their armour and horses rolling over each other, were crushed and smothered. This accident restored confidence to the routed English, for, perceiving the advantage given them by the mouldering rampart and a succession of ditches, they rallied in a body, and, making a sudden stand, caused the Normans severe loss.

    William of Malmesbury
    Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum



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)
The Spears of Andred
Find British Archaelogical Sites
Wealden Iron Research Group

 

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Author: Simon M - Last Updated: 08/04/2019 14:01
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Data is derived from a number or sources including the Ordnance Survey Gazetter data overlayed onto Google Maps