Battle and District
                 Historical Society

  Newsletters and News 

Our Secretary Neil Clephane-Cameron has listed BDHS with and if you shop via AmazonSmile they will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to us.In order to browse or shop through AmazonSmile, you must first select a charitable organisation - Battle and District Historical Society is to be found there on a ‘drop down’ list. Choose Battle and District Historical Society then shop as you normally would. Only purchases made through are eligible to generate donations.

As a charity the Society must publish an annual report. That for 2017-18 is attached here TAR2017-18

Latest e-Newsletters

March 2019 update from Battle and District Historical Society

Talk on Thursday 21 March 2019:  ‘How to Build a Medieval House’ by Mr Stephen Howard Gray


Stephen Gray’s career went beyond his first discipline of Architecture to include and often combine the disciplines of Project Management and Historic Building Conservation on buildings from the 14th century through to the 20th century Modern Movement.  He has been a trainer for professional staff of the National Trust and the Grosvenor Estate and a visiting lecturer at Bournemouth University School of Conservation Sciences.



There will need to be a very short EGM before the talk, at 7.15pm, as we have to tidy up a detail concerning the objectives of the Society for the Charity Commissioners. This should take a maximum of 5 minutes, but is necessary.

Details below.



Battle Town Councillors

And we have been asked by Battle Town Council to circulate a message in which they  call on residents, business owners and those who work in the Town who are passionate about their community to stand in the local elections on 2 May 2019. Details below


Local history exhibition

Wartling and Herstmonceux Local History Group are organising a local history exhibition at Herstmonceux Village Hall on Saturday 6 April 2019 1-5pm, with a special feature on the Second World War.  


Browsing in Battle

From Rother Books in the High Street: Dangerous Hero by Tom Bower is a well-reviewed critical biography of Jeremy Corbyn . The Long Weekend by Andrew Tinniswood is a fascinating account of life in the upper echelons of British society in the inter-war years.


Published in March 2019 there is a book 'Battle at Ward 1939-45' sponsored by Battle Museum of Local History edited by Adrian and Sarah Hall. This year is the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2 and the book is intended to give a flavour of what the town was like then and also contains numbers of accounts from individuals of their memories. This will be available directly from Adrian and Sarah and will be on sale at BMoLH when it reopens for the year.



Top TV Historian at Battle Memorial Hall

Our picture shows (centre) Dr Tracy Borman, top TV historian, who visited Battle on 18 October  as our guest. She was welcomed by the Mayor Cllr David Furness (right) and Mr George Kiloh, Chairman of the Society (left). She spoke about “The Private Lives of the Tudors” to a packed audience. The Society has a talk from a leading historian each month on the third Thursday at 7.30 pm in the Memorial Hall, open to the public (£4 a head) as well as members. Details of the programme and how to join the Society are on tabs to the left.

Photo Peter Greene

Battle of Hastings Re-enactment 2018 : 13th-14th October

On both days we had a tremendous foot fall to our stand in our new location in the Lower Dorter of the Abbey right up to 5pm and beyond!! There were also large attendances at Neil Clephane-Cameron's and and Keith Foord’s presentations in the Abbey Library, probably over 60 per session, and they sold and signed books in the Abbot's Hall. Keith also took part each day in a short workshop led by author Joanna Courtney on 'Women in History' ...see the Facebook video.... Hugh Willing did a sterling job on the BDHS stand on Saturday as did George Kiloh on Sunday and Tina Greene had a really large interest in the Battle Tapestry. We were on our feet all day - both days!  Peter Greene zipped around with his camera and his photos are below. Many thanks to all who represented BDHS so well.

Archive update

A small group of members is at present working on designing and creating a digital archive of items in the BDHS Archives, which will be accessed by via linked website. Volunteers from the membership to assist with copying records selected to be digitized would be very welcome. Please contact Georgina to discuss this valuable work either at Society meetings or via the Contacts page.

The archive catalogue was updated by Georgina Doherty in June 2018. She has also copied all the Society's oral histories to new digital media and indexed them in preparation for uploading them to a new BDHS Digital Archive website in due course (to view early details click the Archive tab).

New Printing of '1066 and the Battle of Hastings - Preludes, Events and Postscripts'

This BDHS book by Keith Foord and Neil Clephane-Cameron has been selling so well that we have had to arrange a third printing. The authors have taken the opportunity to make some changes to the first part of Chapter 16 which covers the Battlefield and Battle Abbey. More information and references have been added for this chapter, including to our own Hugh Willing's thoughtful lecture on the eve of the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Tina Greene's 'Battle Tapestry' and other data that has come to the fore since the book was first written in 2015. This has lengthened the text by only two pages and otherwise the book is unchanged from the second printing. 

The price is unchanged at £14 but BDHS members can obtain copies at meetings at the discounted rate of £12.50. Use the tab to the left to get more details of all BDHS books and how to buy them.

Amazing find by BDHS

In the process of changing over BDHS archivists Gina Doherty and David Sawyer unexpectedly turned up an old small parchment that appeared to originate from Abbot Richard Tovey of Battle Abbey in 1493. The Research group contacted 'The Keep' about the document and Christopher Whittick of ESRO confirmed its authenticity This is a 'pass' entitling the carrier to travel freely in England and quoting the old charter rights of the abbey. Gina has produced an excellent summary of this find which can be accessed in Section A3.4 of Collectanea.  BDHS has also given a facsimile copy to Battle Abbey for future display.


L-R: Neil Clephane-Cameron, Keith Foord, George Kiloh, Gina Doherty, Natasha Williams (English Heritage) handing the parchment to Christopher Whittick (ESRO). Picture Peter Greene

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