Battle of Hastings re-enactment cancelled… over health and safety fears

February 21, 2013 | by | 1 Comment
The 1066 Battle Of Hastings re-enactment in 2010

The 1066 Battle Of Hastings re-enactment in 2010

The annual re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings has been called off – on safety grounds.

A re-run of the most famous clash in British history has taken place every year since 1985.

Around 500 enthusiasts in chainmail, many on horseback, play out the 1066 defeat of King Harold by William the Conqueror.

But this year’s performance has been postponed for the first time by organisers English Heritage because the battlefield poses a safety risk.

Last year’s re-enactment was abandoned halfway through amid heavy rain and the protected site was churned up.

The ground is being re-seeded and rested to create a more robust grass surface.

But in the meantime English Heritage have decided it is not safe to stage this year’s event in October.

Local councillor Kathryn Field said: “This is for people’s safety.

“The battlefield is still incredibly damaged from last year.

“We regret it can’t go ahead on the battlefield but it is not permanent.”

English Heritage said: “On expert advice, it has been decided the area needs to be re-seeded and rested to enable it to fully recover and establish a more robust grass surface.

“This action will help us to balance the best management of this iconic battlefield, given the potential impact changes in weather patterns are likely to have, with our underlying wish to continue staging events which so graphically illustrate this key event in our history.”

The re-enactment – which draws thousands of spectators – will be replaced with alternative events in Battle Abbey including theatre performances.

English Heritage added: “This is the first time it has been postponed, but last years rainfall was unprecedented and our priority has to be the condition of the battlefield.

“Although we appreciate that many people will be disappointed, we hope the events we are staging in other parts of the site this year will be enjoyed by thousands of abbey visitors.

“By taking this action now, we will be able to safeguard large scale events in the future  with the aim to reinstate them from 2014.”

Most of the re-enactments have involved up to 500 participants but large-scale ones with over 1,000 took place in 2000 and 2006.

Category: News

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Such a shame as we were hoping to go this October, but understand the reason.

    I so hope that it will happen again in 2014.

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