Images of flood on the day of the battle
12 panoramas of the battle site
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To clarify some of the issues raised about ‘changes to the landscape’, ’secure location’, and suggestions that the site is built over, these images have been included. The images can be easily inspected from public space, roads and paths. There are statements running through English Heritage documents show an ignorance of the landscape suggesting that it has been ‘denature’, ’ might have’ or ‘must have changed’. The EH HQ is less than 2 miles from Germany Beck, so there is no excuse for such ignorance and no need for speculation as I have published all of the necessary data about the landscape evolution (chapters 2 & 3 of Finding Fulford).
1 The beck beyond the English right flank. The land surface is similar here to 1066, as confirmed by soil core surveys from Manchester and Leeds university teams. They were able to model the annual net deposition of alluvium that has raised the land surface, but has not altered the ecology. It is still a flood plain.
2 The area covered in image 1 (above) but taken during summer - Most of my landscape photos are in winter where the trees and vegetation do not obscure the landscape - and during one of the regular floods that cover the Ings. It was when the tidal floodingexposed the river bank levee that King Harald was able to cross the beck. The River Ouse is just beyond the right edge of this image -The river bank is naturally higher as heavy material deposits quickly when the river overtops its bank. So the riverside route across the beck drained, while the Ings were flooded. The construction of the lock at Naburn stopped the tidal flooding. Now flooding is caused by excessive rainfall.
The ford at the heart of the battle (images 4) lies just beyond the left edge of this image but is concealed from view by the moraine that rises steeply. The Domesday Survey says that Earl Morcar owned a hall overlooking this land so he would have been familiar with the behaviour of the tide. The literature explains how King Harald exploited the falling tide to cross the beck and get behind the English army, who had advanced into the ford.
3 The two images from Stone Bridge (A19) which spans the breach in the moraine. The steep bank provided the English Right flank . These images from the flooded bridge overlook the fording area (left). The image (right) shows the houses built beside the road. This is where they propose the road junction. Image 2 is from the right edge of the bridge overlooking the ings.
Based on the calculations provided by the Hydrographer to the Navy, that the tidal flooding would have been similar to this on the day of the battle, peaking at 8 o’clock then slowly ebbing.
The flow and ebb along the Ouse is exceptional with the former taking just 4 hours, leading to a recognised tidal bore on the river.
4 This is the playing field that now covers the ford and lifts it above the regular floods. This is the view from the Norse side. The image shows the A19 (entering left edge) and the beck is visible at the base of the slope with the bridge just off the left edge. This is looking back at the images no 3. The memorial plaque is visible in the lower image with the Fulford Cemetery Lodge just visible behind and right of the tree.
5 This images capture almost the full extent of the ford and ditch where the battle was fought. In the foreground is part of the ford area. The ditch area is visible through the gap in the trees. The beck runs along the right. The only building on the site is the now redundant old folks home. The edge of the moraine where the English shieldwall assembled overlooking a peat-filled ditch and up a steep bank is on the horizon. The image below give a view from the left flank, looking back towards this viewpoint.
6 The moraine material has a steep bank providing a secure left flank (so the battle is off to the right of the image). The beck and ancient hedge are visible.
7 The image below is looking back at the hedge (in summer) and shows the ditch full of water as it would have been early on the day of the battle. This is the ditch that provided the first stage of the English retreat route. The first of the recycling sites is just off the left of the image and several possible charcoal making areas were identified on the rim of this ditch.
8 This is the retreat field with the beck running diagonally across the image (see the trees in the foreground). The ’40 acre field’ has a number of high spots which might have provided rally points during the retreat as they were defensible. Several of the recycling sites were found close to the beck in this area.
Related sites Facebook Twitter (@ helpsavefulford) Visiting Fulford Map York
There is a site devoted to saving the battlesite: The site has the story of the process that has allowed the site to be designated an access road to a Green Belt, floodplain housing estate.
And another website for the Fulford Tapestry that tells the story of the September 1066: This tells the story embroidered into the panels.
The author of the content is Chas Jones - email@example.com last updated June 2015