Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, November 5, 1998 Published at 02:20 GMT


Battle over Hastings tea-shop

The Bayeux tapestry depicts the Battle of Hastings

Swords have been drawn over a plan by English Heritage to put a café within a spear's throw of the spot where King Harold of England was killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Michael Raynor, of English Heritage, says plan is tasteless
English Heritage believes visitors to the ruins of the abbey that William the Conqueror built to atone for those who died in battle should be able to buy a cup of tea.

But the Battlefield Trust thinks the proposal is philistine.

Spokesman Michael Raynor says the building - which would include toilets - would lower the dignity of the battlefield.

"I think it's in very questionable taste and extremely insensitive to build such things," he said.

'Think again'

The Battlefield Trust's main objection is that the building would set a dangerous precedent, which could be followed by other developers seeking to build on battlefield sites.

"As the custodian of battlefields, English Heritage should set a standard. When it's as important a battlefield as Hastings, there really shouldn't be any new building close to the centre of it," said Mr Raynor.

The local district council was to have decided on the issue on Thursday - but at the last minute it emerged that English Heritage asked for the application to be deferred.

Mr Raynor says he hopes the English Heritage will think again about its proposals.

The Battle of Hastings was won by the William, Duke of Normandy, and marks the last time England was invaded by a foreign power.

The battle was not actually fought at Hastings, but at the place that became known as Battle, six miles inland.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Internet Links

English Heritage - Battle of Hastings

Battle of Hastings - Camelot International

1066 - Battle of Hastings

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online