Monday, June 27, 2016

The Ireland-UK Trip: England Day 7 - 1066, Battle of Britain Memorial and Dover Sights

Another history-filled day of explorations for Martha and I, now in the South-East part of England.

The morning started with a tour of the Battlefield for the Battle of Hastings, which in 1066 with the victory of William the Conqueror from Normandy, over then English King Harold, marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon era and started the Norman period of English History.

We arrived and parked the massive stone gate that now guards access to the Abbey that was ordered built by King William to commemorate the fallen on the actual site of the battle.  The buildings not in ruins are now a private school by the way.

The tour they've set up for the battlefield gives one a good feel for the actual battle conditions.  One could almost picture the thousands of English soldiers, standing on the hill behind their wall of shields and picture the Normans charging at them!  A reenactment of the battle is planned for July by the way, in case you're in the area.

 Looks like a castle on its own doesn't it?  
The opened gate isn't the entrance to the abbey but used by the school.
The entrance is those two large wooden doors to the left.

 Abbey Ruins, which are being restored apparently.  

 The lower rooms of the abbey are quite nice to wander through...

 As you can see, lots of work remains to be done to restore the Abbey.

 Martha, on part of the wall walk that was put in later.

A view of the Gatehouse from the visitor's center area.

After leaving Battle, the town where the Abbey is located, we were motoring along and chanced to see a sign for nearby Battle of Britain Memorial.  We were not in a hurry to reach Dover, our next destination, so we took a quick detour.  Glad that we did:

After visiting the memorial, we proceeded to get navigation instructions from both Waze app and Google Maps that had us driving along really narrow country lanes, in which "Zippy Car" our small rental car, barely fit!  Only one close call with a a van though but we decided to do some "manual" navigation back to real roads.

We made it to Dover Castle with no incidents and found it to be not very crowded though there were a couple of large groups of "boisterous" students which we studiously avoided.  A very important fortress with a long history, since Dover apparently has always been the "Key to England" in terms of invasions.

 Dover Castle

 Views from the top of the Castle Keep

 On top of the Castle Keep

 The King's Bedroom

 Martha on the King's Throne....

The view towards town at the Constable's Gate
"Basically, the Castle's back door"

Part of the "White Cliffs of Dover"?

 Ferry Port in Dover, next to Admiralty Harbor

The other half of Admiralty Harbor...

So, from the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, to the planes and fortress which stood against Nazi Germany during World War II.  Hope you liked the tour....


SonjaM said...

Thanks again, Dom for bringing back the memories. We have family in England living in the vicinity, and these places were the first sights we had been shown as little kids. I remember the ruins and the cliffs of Dover quite well.

redlegsrides said...

You're quite welcome SonjaM!