1066 Bodiam Castle to Battle Abbey
The last ten miles.
A few men, King’s men, followed Harold to York and back and now south to Caldbec Hill, an epic, historic journey written in to the folklore of The Battle of Hastings 1066, a date etched in the memory of every school boy and girl in England.
Crossing the Appledore Estuary at Bodiam was like crossing the Rubicon into another world of battle and death, but there was no turning back. Up and down they marched and up and down again to the final climb to Caldbec Hill. Sounds like a nursery rhyme but this was almost 400 years before the Grand Old Duke of York and his 10,000 men.
This was a march along ancient ridgeways used for centuries and still in use today. Trace the route from Rye to Cripps Corner and on to Heathfield. You can drive along the ridge through Darwell Hole, Woods Corner, Carrick Hill, Earl’s Down, Three Cups Corner, Punnett’s Town and Cade Street, an escape route from Battle and used by the Saxons nearly a 1000 years ago as they fled from the carnage. Walking along the ridge had always felt safer none more so than after the battle.
Another old ridgeway joined from the north through Vinehall and on to Caldbec Hill, a route familiar to the Saxon army who would use the ridge to avoid the Appledore Estuary, a logistical nightmare. Do not be fooled by the A2100, almost Roman in its straightness and the logical route, but the A2100 is a new toll road only built in 1838.
Author: David Clarke
Publisher: History Walks