Battle Abbey, at the site of the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex

Battle Abbey, at the site of the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex
Battle Abbey, at the site of the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex

Discover Dan Snow's Love Letter to Battle Abbey

This February, we asked well-known personalities to tell us about the places they couldn’t live without. Here is a love letter by Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster. 

Battle Abbey is a Scheduled Monument and a Grade I listed building.

Dan Snow during a childhood family trip to Battle Abbey
Dan Snow (left) during a childhood family trip to Battle Abbey

The most famous of battlefields, the most consequential of battles. This is my Valentine. Always will be.

Dan Snow's love letter to Battle Abbey

"Battle Abbey just north of Hastings, where King Harold fought Duke William on a bright autumn day in 1066. The most famous of battlefields, the most consequential of battles. This is my Valentine. Always will be.

My dad and mum took my sisters and I there on countless occasions. We charged down the hill like Harold’s brothers, and then we rounded on ourselves, suddenly playing Normans, and slaughtering our erstwhile personas.

It is where I feel in love with the past. Its colour, import, tragedy and drama. It’s where I have returned year after year, programmes, podcasts, live shows, re-enactments. I have ridden a horse across that field, hauled a spear, hacked at the carcass of a pig, clambered through the ruined abbey and baked 11th century bread.

It runs like the words through the stick of rock that is my life. Now my kids too have explored the field. And so it goes on." 

Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster
Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster
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