A field of battle

Sunday 22nd August 2021, 12.20pm (day 3,650)

Battle of Hastings field, 22/8/21

It’s just a field, home these days to a number of sheep (two of whom were a source of great interest to the visitor at the bottom of the pic). But on October 14th 1066, around 7,000 men were slaughtered here in one day at the Battle of Hastings, and the victor, Duke William of Normandy, instituted a regime that, basically, continues to rule the island of Great Britain into the present time. (One wonders how different human history might have been if the two antagonists, neither of whom had a particularly direct claim to the throne of England, had just cut cards for the privileged, or agreed to do six months a year each.)

It is understandable that the tourists would want to come and see the place — as we did on this pleasant, bright Sunday. But I guess the import of what happened on this spot 956 years ago, the scale of the death and mayhem, will never be fully apparent. These days we walk round and take our pictures and listen to the soothing tones of the ‘audio guide’ and then go and have lunch in the nearby pub. Battle is worth a visit though, whether you are English or not.

Note also — it’s day 3,650. But thanks to three leap years having interspersed themselves over the last decade, I am not quite at the point where I have completed 10 years of this blog. I assume I will make it to Wednesday, though.

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