English Heritage has hidden 1,066 arrows at castles and forts across the country – including Pevensey Castle – to mark 950 years since the Battle of Hastings.
The French forces, led by William the Conqueror, landed at Pevensey on September 28 1066 before marching inland and fighting what is now known as the Battle of Hastings on October 14.
Outnumbering King Harold’s English forces by 10,000 to 7,000, and with the death of King Harold in combat – supposedly with an arrow through his eye – the French were victorious and William was crowned King on Christmas Day.
Visitors to English Heritage sites in Sussex who find an arrow will win one of 1,066 fantastic prizes including a castle sleepover, a private tour of Stonehenge, and tickets to English Heritage’s re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings in October.
And to launch the charity’s 1066 Arrow Hunt, it has unveiled a giant arrow at Battle today (June 9).
Kate Mavor, English Heritage’s chief executive, said, “1066 is the most famous date in English history and the Battle of Hastings was arguably the most important battle in our history, the results of which had consequences for every corner of England.
“We’ve now hidden 1,066 arrows at our sites – big and small – right across the country, including Sussex. Find an arrow and you’ll win a fantastic prize. And while you’re looking, you’ll discover the greatest sites in England, where history really happened.
“We’ve launched the hunt with a giant arrow on the very site where William beat Harold – a dramatic way to represent this turning point in history.”
The 1066 Arrow Hunt is just one part of English Heritage’s programme – ‘1066: Year of the Normans’ – to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest.
In July, English Heritage will open up the roof of the Great Gatehouse of William the Conqueror’s abbey – founded on the battlefield where King Harold died – giving visitors a whole new perspective on the Battle of Hastings.
And at the end of September, English Heritage will re-create the march of King Harold’s army from Yorkshire where Harold defeated an invading Norwegian force to the town of Battle and his decisive encounter with the Normans on 14 October 1066.
For more details, including the full list of sites taking part and how many arrows remain to be found, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/arrowhunt
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