Battle of Hastings “sequel” site found in North Devon
The site of the decisive follow-up to the Battle of Hastings has been discovered, it has been claimed.
Best-selling author Nick Arnold said a field between Appledore and Northam, in Devon, played host to the bloody battle of 1069.
Mr Arnold, who wrote the Horrible Science series of books, described the clash as the “sequel” to the Norman victory of 1066.
Academics have described the find as “significant” to British history.
Mr Arnold started research into the battlefield, inspired by a story from his grandfather, five years ago.
He said the sons of the vanquished King Harold came back for a bloody “rematch” in North Devon three years after his defeat at Hastings.
More than 3,000 people died in the resulting clash, Mr Arnold said, after 64 longships “crammed with armed men” led by Godwine and Edmund arrived at Appledore on 26 June 1069.
Their army, which arrived from Ireland, met a fighting force made up of Normans, Bretons and English.
They were met and roundly defeated by forces led by Brian of Brittany in a day-long battle.
“The showdown settled once and for all who would rule England,” he said.
The Norman Conquest
January 1066 – Edward the Confessor dies. Harold gambles and makes a bid for the Crown, supported by all the magnates of England
14 October 1066 – Harold is shot in the eye with an arrow and defeated by William at the Battle of Hastings
October to December 1066 – A state of war continues until a deal is struck in December between William and the English magnates in which he guarantees their positions in return for their support.
25 December 1066 – William is crowned King of England in London
Mr Arnold said he was confident he had successfully narrowed down the correct site.
“By combining scientific data on the estuary with accounts of the battle it”s possible to locate the fighting in a small area,” he said.
“The amazing cast of supporting characters include a treacherous Abbot, a conscience-stricken Queen and a headless saint.
“All the background information points to this location.”
The Devonshire Association has published Mr Arnold”s research paper which is being republished by the Battlefields Trust.
Dr Benjamin Hudson from Pennsylvania State University in the US said the research was “a significant contribution to the history of medieval Britain”.
Elisabeth van Houts, Professor of Medieval European History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, said Mr Arnold had carried out “an exemplary piece of lucid writing, research and detective work”.