Images of flood on
the day of the battle
panoramas of the battle site
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Views of Battle of Fulford site
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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.
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
is the soggy basin that was just beyond the English left flank but
is the land over which the retreat would have begun.
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).
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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.
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
The Norse troops would then have been able to move to the
left and then attack the English advancing at the ford, from the
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
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.