Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Battle of Fulford: War breaks out over 'forgotten' Yorkshire battlefield

Local historians say it's the site of the curtain-raiser to Hastings in 1066. The council wants to build hundreds of houses on it

Combatants are squaring up to do battle over the fate of a Yorkshire field more than 1,000 years after they say an earlier battle was fought there that helped to change the course of British history. Rival groups have issued a call to arms over the future of what some historians claim is the true site of the "forgotten" Battle of Fulford in September 1066. Local historians are fighting a rearguard action over developers' plans to build 600 homes on a field near York which they say is the site of the historic battle.

The Battle of Fulford is where an invading Viking army defeated an Anglo-Saxon force led by the northern earls, Edwin and Morcar. Historians say the battle is important because the defeat forced the Anglo-Saxon king, Harold Godwinson, to march his army north to fight and defeat the invaders at the Battle of Stamford Bridge five days later. Although victorious, Harold's forces suffered losses at Stamford Bridge and were exhausted after the march, and the campaign in the north diverted the king's attention away from the south coast, where William of Normandy launched his invasion.

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