A Storm Is Brewing

This is when things get interesting around the abbey!

Well, we did get rained on a little while we visited Battle and the abbey ruins, but the drops fell out of a featureless grey sky on that early May 2007 day.

The clouds I added to this photo are from a year and a month earlier, and from somewhere between Stratford-on-Avon and Oxford. I felt that the imposing ruins of the abbey deserved a bit more drama than was originally present so I borrowed some from the past.

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Across The Road From Wadhurst Station

A view from the bus. May 2007

The day we set out from London to visit Battle and the abbey ruins, the rail line was closed at Wadhurst for weekend maintenance. We were herded onto a bus that would wind through a series of towns and villages and eventually bring us to Battle. We chose to sit on the upper level, and as we waited I saw the lush green leaves across the road and took a few shots through the bus window.

This was processed with the #Lightroom5Beta . Problems with the original include a mild camera shake (not prominent at this resolution, thankfully) and substantial chroma noise in the original JPEG. Only after this trip did I realize the benefits of shooting RAW!

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The Battle of Hastings

An arrow to the eye, and England had a new king.

The Battle of Hastings took place several miles inland from the town of Hastings itself. The armies of William of Normandy fought the forces of King Harold Godwinson in this field in October of 1066. Poor Harold did not survive. Later, though he did not repent enough to go back to Normandy, William did penance by building an abbey on the hill where Harold died. The abbey was called, appropriately, Battle Abbey, and the town that grew up around it is simply, Battle.

For centuries the field was plowed under and farmed over. No need to let a battle and change of royal lineage ruin perfectly good farmland. Besides, there was no explosive ordinance left behind as there was durning WW2. Every now and again an unexploded bomb will be found somewhere in England!

The abbey was abolished in the reign of Henry VIII and the buildings were ravaged by locals seeking good building materials. But the ruins remain and they, and the battlefield, are in the loving care of English Heritage. No more fighting, no more farming- just tourism and history lessons. It is well worth the train ride to get there and the better part of a day to explore the museum, abbey ruins and battlefield.

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