Battle Abbey

sights / Historic

Battle Abbey information

Prices
adult/child £7.80/4.70
Opening hours
10am-6pm Apr-Sep, 10am-4pm Sat & Sun Oct-Mar
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Lonely Planet review

On this spot raged the pivotal battle in the last successful invasion of England in 1066: an event with unparalleled impact on the country's subsequent social structure, language and well…pretty much everything. Four years after, the Normans began constructing an abbey on the battlefield, a penance ordered by the Pope for the loss of life incurred here. Only the foundations of the original church remain, the altar's position supposedly the spot King Harold famously took an arrow in his eye.

Other impressive monastic buildings survive and make for atmospheric explorations. The battlefield's innocently rolling lush hillsides do little to evoke the ferocity of the event, but high-tech interactive presentations and a film at the visitors centre, as well as blow-by-blow audiotours, do their utmost to bring the battle to life.