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Battle Abbey

In 1070 the Pope ordered the Normans to do penance for killing so many people during their conquest of England. So William the Conqueror vowed to build an abbey where the Battle of Hastings had taken place, with the high altar of its church on the very spot where King Harold fell in that battle on Saturday, 14 October 1066. He did start building it and named it Battle Abbey. Its church was finished in about 1094 and consecrated during the reign of his son William Rufus. It was remodeled in the late 13th century but virtually destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII.

All that is left of the church today is its outline on the ground, but parts of some of the abbey's other buildings are still standing, the ones built between the 13th and 16th century. Where the church's altar marked the spot where Harold died is a plaque on the ground, and nearby is a monument to him erected by the people of Normandy in 1903. The ruins of the abbey, with the adjacent battlefield, are a popular tourist attraction.



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