Sunday, 11 December 2011

Battle of Hastings 2011

The battle re-enactment for 2011 held at Battle Abbey on the 15th October was performed under glorious blue skies and watched by an estimated five thousand spectators.
The main event took place at 3pm so what to do before then? Wander around the authentically decorated medieval market stalls and buy that so sharp seax, or the viking drinking horn? Sample a taste of authentic mead or simply buy an ice-cream? There was a plethora of activities for young and old; a falconry display, learning to paint your own shield or taking aim with a bow to fire a few arrows at a static wild boar!
The English Heritage exhibition was also available to view and portrays an excellent history of 1066 and life under the Normans.
So to the main event, five hundred Normans faced up-to five hundred Anglo-Saxons both hurling verbal abuse at each other and cheered on by the massed spectators. Over the next hour the story of the famous battle that had taken place on this field 945 years ago was played out before us. There were no holds barred by the re-enactors when it came to the inevitable vis-a-vis confrontation. There is no love lost between the re-enactors and this was shown by the physical effort literally thrown at each other at close quarters. There were broken noses and black eyes on show during and after the battle. Even a faller from a horse was quickly seen to but did not effect the battle being played before us.
After an hours physical re-enactment the end of the battle brought the days activities to an end to rapturous applause. A fantastic day of history was played before a recipient audience and left us all with a hunger for next year's event.