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'Battle of Hastings' over link road progresses
The Battle of Hastings could halt the building of a controversial link road.
Protesters have applied to the High Court to block the construction of the route from Hastings to Bexhill, saying it would run through the actual site of the conflict that cleared the way for the Norman conquest.
Michael Bernard, from the Bexhill Link Road Resistance (BLINKRR) group, braved the snow yesterday to seek an injunction at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
It is commonly thought that the 1066 battle took place at Battle Abbey.
However, BLINKRR claim that they have evidence to suggest the famous battle actually happened at Caldec Hill, just over a mile away.
Earlier this week Mr Bernard asked English Heritage to investigate the research and consider amending the location and re-registering the battlefield.
An English Heritage spokesman said: “We will consider this application very carefully and if we believe this case should be taken forward, we will prepare a full assessment consulting with owners, the local authority and others with an interest in the site or expertise in the subject.”
Mr Bernard added: “I’ve asked the court to delay the building of the road while English Heritage looks at the evidence.
“They must be given the opportunity to look at it.
“This could be arguably the most important historical site in English history.
“The council can’t go ahead with it if it isn’t certain because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
The bulk of the evidence for BLINKRR’s argument comes from books published by historians John Grehan and Nick Austin.
Mr Grehan, in his book The Battle of Hastings – The Uncomfortable Truth, points out that despite some 10,000 casualties, no human remains or artefacts have been found near Battle Abbey.
It is commonly believed that King Harold assembled his troops close to where the link road is being built, before advancing on William the Conqueror near Battle Abbey.
However, after extensive research, Grehan and Austin think it was the French who advanced on Harold – meaning the famous battle would have taken place on the site of the planned road.
An English Heritage spokesman added: “There is no set time frame for reviewing designation cases but we aim to work as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”