Fulford battlefied under threat

July 2015 dig

The Fulford Tapestry

Panoramas

Summary of published report

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REPORT ON THE TRIAL TRENCH ADJAC
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Sunrise 20 Sept 1066
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Images of flood on the day of the battle

12 panoramas of the battle site

YouTube videos

The Fulford Tapestry

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Views of Battle of Fulford site

Click on any thumbnail (Small) for larger image

The photos will launch a new window so close or minimise the image to return to this page

The sequence of panoramas runs east to west, and almost all of the images a viewed from the north bank that was occupied by the English army. The images are not in the sequence of battle action which jumps about and indeed is focused in 3 different areas late in the battle. I hope the captions alongside will help to explain what you are viewing. The site is wonderfully accessible on public paths and you really can see 90% of the area just as it was at the time of the battle in 1066 with the application of just a little imagination.

All the evidence for the narrative is not reference here. You need to explore the rest of the site.

 

 

  fternoon. 1 The bank leading down to the back had provided great flank protection for the English when the battle began. But once King Harald had crossed the beck and outflanked them, the English were forced to retreat across this field which had two streams creating some temporary 'islands' when the tide Several of the metal reprocessing sites were in this field.

 
 

2 The Beck beyond the defender's left flank. The hedge along this section is recovering but was dated to near the time of the battle. So the bank, beck and hedge would have protected the English on their retreat when the Norse army would occupy the site

With a slope behind and a marsh in front, this was a defensive strongpoint, probably near the site of the ancient ford. The defenders held this position until the end.

 

 

3 This was the very steep bank that provided the English with protection on their left flank.  This landscape is part of the moraine land that provides the arena in which the battle was fought.

The beck runs along the line of the ancient hedge and beyond it (see below) is a boggy area where several areas where we think charcoal was made.

 

 

4 This is the soggy basin that was just beyond the English left flank but is the land over which the retreat would have begun.

The retreat would have been protected by the hedge, beck and bank running along their new, right flank. And it would probably have taken the Norse to overcome similar obstacles on their own flank to be able to make an assault on the retreating English.

So there was probably a pause in the battle but the rising tide and the Norse would then have driven the English east (1 & 2 above).

 

 

5 You would not have wanted to be standing here during the battle as you would have the the Norse on the bank to your left and the English would be standing along the ridge to your left.

The land slopes down more steeply than this images suggests but the line that separates the firm moraine from the soft, peaty land is visible in the vegetation.

You are looking towards the ford and the centre of the battle at the ford, just beyond the trees.

 

 

6 This is the view from the English left flank. Facing you modern cemetery and the bank overlooking the beck would have been occupied by the Norse shieldwall.

Behind you (3), the steep bank is protecting your flank so your attention would be on the actions at the ford, about 200m to your right.

 

 

7 The ford area where the battle began, is not easy to photograph as the land surface has been raised by nearly 4m. The 1066 surface level is where the back now runs.

The English under Earl Morcar were on the firm ground to the right. The sagas say King Harald Hardrada of Norway sent his weak troop forward here when the very high tide retreated.

The defender's stronghold pictured above is on the horizon-centre (about 250 m away) but crucially out of sight of those standing here near the river bank. When this position was lost, the defender's near the ford would not discover until they were surrounded.

 

 

8 This is the only image from the Norse side. It is looking towards the ford and you can see the path sloping away.

You might imagine King Harald standing at this high point watching the events unfold at the ford. The sagas tell us that when he had seen that Earl Morcar had led his troops into the ford, the sounded a general advance and went to join his 'best troops' who were down by the river bank, about 200m behind this view-point.

 

 

9 This is the view from Stone Bridge which carries the A19 over the beck, looking west and away from the ford. The bank on the right is very steep with the land opposite  too marshy.

So this was the secure right flank of the English. But this steep bank would also make it impossible to observe the river which runs about 150m to the right.

So there would be no view of events when King Harald attacked along the river bank.

 

 

10 This is the view just below the bridge but looking across the beck towards the Norse bank.

Beyond the back and beyond the line of trees is the field in image 8.

 

 

11 This view if from the river bank looking towards the ford from the English side. The ford is not visible as it the other side of what was described in the report as a 'gorge'. But it in the centre of this panorama.

The beck would have flowed directly across this filed in 1066. The land would have been underwater from daybreak until midday. When the tide fell, it would have exposed some land which would have allowed King Harald to attack along the river bank and cross the beck.

The Norse troops would then have been able to move to the left and then attack the English advancing at the ford, from the rear.

 

 

12 This view along the length of Fulford Ings, looking south and towards the battle action.

This image gives an impression of the waterlogged nature of the ings.

The images were taken during the winter as visibility is much better when the vegetation is 'hibernating'. Even in the summer, many sections of the ings are wet although this is hidden below the reeds and wetland plants.

 
 

 

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 - fulfordthing@gmail.com  last updated June 2015

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