The Designation Selection Guide (Battlefields) introduces the Designation Considerations saying the site must be: “capable of close definition on the ground.”
After Historical Significance, Location is discussed: “To be registered, a battle’s location must be securely identified. The nature of warfare is such that boundaries to an area of conflict are rarely precise. However, for inclusion in the Register the areas where the troops drew up (a), deployed and fought (b) whilst in battle formation must be capable of definition on the ground (1), and a reasonable boundary to this area must be defined (2). It is generally the case that the earlier a battle the less the precision can be offered in terms of where fighting took place; nevertheless, it remains a requirement for designation that a battle can be placed within specific and particular topographical location (3) with a fair degree of probability.”(my highlighting and numbering)
The three components of ‘securely identified’ are listed as
1. ‘Capable of definition on the ground’ which was done in the Consultation Report map, and we know how little the landscape has changed since 1066.
2. ‘A reasonable boundary to this area can be defined’ bounded by the river Ouse, the Ings, sections of the moraine and the edge of the flood plain.
3. The ‘battle can be placed within specific and particular topographic location’.
The 3 battle-formation tests for ‘location’ are described in the literature and have been tested using relevant archaeology (see overleaf on the annotated map).
a) The three major assembly “areas where the troops drew up”(The numbers below refer to the comments on the map overleaf)
o 1 King Harald’s ‘Best Men’
o 3 The Ford where ‘the second arm[y]’ of the Norse invaders assembled.
o 4 Where the defensive shieldwall covered the area between the wetlands and steep banks.
b) The areas where they “deployed and fought” can be clearly defined
o 7 the ford was where King Harald sent his weakest troop to tempt Earl Edwin to drive them back into the muddy ford.
o 4 the ditch was where King Harald ordered his troops to enter with a trumpet blast as he prepared his outflanking move.
o 2 The outflanking move by the Ings.
c) Plus for the battle of Fulford we can define a significant ‘retreat phase’
o 5 & 6 are the areas where the English disengaged.
The map below provides the strands of literary, landscape, tidal, ecological or physical evidence to identify these locations on the ground. The underlying base map has a hatched area which is the zone that English Heritage proposed to designate. The proposed designation area has the battle action at its heart and provides the necessary buffer zone to ensure that the visual integrity of the site will not be thoughtlessly compromised and which EH says is included because it might have ‘archaeological potential’ related to the battle. This battle, like others in the era before cavalry and ballistic weapons, is compact.
All the test that comprise ‘securely identified’ with ‘a fair degree of probability” are passed according to the evidence below.Chas Jones May 2014 (modified Jan 2015)