Granny Battleaxe at Battle Abbey

Well, it’s Granny time again. Have GD staying for a few days,  so we went to Battle Abbey. I’ve blogged about the town of Battle already – one of my favourite destinations for a little wander and shop browse, but we rarely visit the actual Abbey and battlefield site. Partly for reasons of cost… Anyway, this time we all got free entry, so it was fine.
     Presumably, this is the spiritual home of the Battleaxe. I tend to favour a two bladed (feminist symbol Minoan goddess bla bla) axe, but it seems the Saxons used a different model:

Ye Saxon battle axe

Battleaxe with rather a small Norman….

    A beautiful spring day.  The view over the battlefield was daffodilly and romantically misty.  It is hard to visualise any Normans and Saxons killing each other round here. Nobody still is actually certain where the Battle of Hastings actually took place – a recent theory centred on a roundabout on the road just outside the  Abbey Walls – see this earlier post. It would have to have been a pretty big roundabout, methinks…

The Battlefield

Terrace by the Battlefield

    Going round these places with grand daughter is never a restful experience. Given her head, she would be in and out in fifteen minutes.
     ‘Why are you walking so slowly!’ she screeches at us. ‘Why are you always taking photographs?’ ‘How can you take so long!’
     Battleaxe readers will have gathered by now that GD is Not Quite As Others Are. I don’t think it is my place to say more on here without her knowledge or consent, but suffice it to say life with her can be challenging…..
     Anyway, as ever, we ended up caving into pressure and hurtling manically round the battlefield, gardens and ruins, while she shot up staircases, into turrets, down dungeons etc.
     Fortunately, the place was quite quiet – another thing GD does not do is Crowds.
     We managed to spin it out until lunchtime, and ate a modest offering sitting outside at the cafe.
     It was clear the place is being spruced up for the 950th Anniversary later this year, and some bits were closed for refurbishment, but even so the Battle Abbey experience does not offer much.  Given that it is one of the key historical sites in the whole country, Battleaxe thinks English Heritage could do much, much, better.
     There is an exhibition area which has some quite good interactive screen things, but it is small.  Where is the scale model of the battle? Where are the life-size Normans and Saxons?
      Where is an exhibition about daily life in the Abbey? Where are yon monks?  Where are ye hairy-legged battle horses? Where are ye varlets and peasants?
      Where are the soldiers parading across the battlefield daily at 1pm?
      When we last visited, with our friends Sue and Alex, they did at least have a room where you could dress up in Norman and Saxon kit, but that seems to have vanished. 
      There is quite a good Saxon style adventure playground but that is really the only thing for kids. Although GD is too old for such things she did enjoy a revolving treadmill drum, very like a large hamster wheel. Perhaps we could get one for home. Perhaps she could generate electricity in it…. Philosopher had a go but as he was bigger and heavier the drum spun round much quicker and he ended up upside down in an undignified heap. I won’t include the photo.

Human hamster wheel

Nice wooden monkey in the playground

       Full admission prices are £8.30 for adults and £5 for kids – a lot of money for not very much.
       Here are some pretty pictures:

View of Battle from the walls

View of Battle from the walls


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