The small town of Battle – East Sussex is a part of what the English call a local government district, with this particular entity being Rother. Geographically, the town lies about 50 or so miles south to southeast of London and is also near to the famous city of Brighton. Today, nearly 6200 people call the town home. It is most famous for being near to Hastings, where a great battle was fought in 1066.
This particular battle is famous for being the event that led to Norman rule in England. The Duke of Normandy, William, defeated the army King Harold II of England to become William I or “William the Conqueror, ” establishing Norman rule throughout the country. Its most famous structure is Battle Abbey, built in 1095 to commemorate the Battle of Hastings.
Gradually and over time, the town grew up around the Abbey and began to develop a serious reputation for the quality of its gunpowder that was made in the area. The first such gunpowder production facility was built in the area in 1676 and Battle was renowned in many parts of Europe for making the best gunpowder, though the town lost its license to do so in 1847.
As far as historical landmarks, there is a hill near to the town where it is believed that William I and his army first spotted the English army of Harold and began to prepare the battleground upon which the two great armies would fight during the Battle of Hastings. During World War I, Battle was designated as a refuge area, and many protective tunnels still exist to this day.
Battle today is known as a popular tourist destination and is visited by quite a few people interested in learning more about the Battle of Hastings, Battle Abbey and William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest of England. Railway stations and roads link this town to London as well as to several other communities in the area.
East Sussex, the ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in which Battle resides, has a current population of around 770,000 people. It was once a part of the ancient kingdom of the South Saxons, who took up residence in the area after the Romans departed in the fifth century. Both Battle and East Sussex are teeming with history and historical importance, both in England and in Western civilization.