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Digging Sussex

Posted 7 November 2014 by Andrew Gardner google authorship button

Battle Abbey, East Sussex

We seem to be on an archaeological run this month. A controversial new theory that King Harold survived the Battle of Hastings is being investigated - but it has to be said that few people really believe in it. Apparently the Battle Historical Society is sceptical of the claims, made by a novelist and amateur historian, but the fact is that the place where Harold's bones are thought to lie (bizarrely not in Sussex) is being scanned for new evidence.

This gentleman says that in researching his novels he found a 12th Century document that told how a young priest took the last rites for a pilgrim who claimed he was in fact Harold Godwinson. He claimed to have been hidden at Winchester and nursed back to health after the battle, then tried to raise an army in Germany to redress matters but couldn't drum up enough interest, so he gave up and travelled as a pilgrim for the rest of his life.

Most historians have accepted the contemporary accounts - both Norman and Saxon - that say Harold was killed in battle. Either way it would be fascinating if Harold's bones were found, and the search is being carried out by the same geological survey outfit that located Richard III's bones under a car park in Leicester so if there's something to find, they seem to be the people to do it.

I love a good conspiracy theory and of course it's all great publicity for the historical site in Sussex - and we have plenty of fabulous holiday homes within easy reach, by car or otherwise. This atmospheric area has quietened down a bit after the busy season so why not click here to check out our late availability page for a cosy cottage to while away a winter weekend? Or click here to book ahead for next summer - either way, for winter walks or summer holidays you'll have some of the best Sussex beaches and countryside on your doorstep.