Battle abbey

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Battle abbey. Founded by William I in fulfilment of a vow made before the battle of Hastings, it was commenced on lower ground to the west nearer water and shelter, but the Marmoutier monks were angrily ordered to rebuild with the high altar over the spot where Harold II fell; it was consecrated to St Martin (1094). The Benedictine house had a remarkable range of privileges as well as generous endowments, and grew in wealth and fame despite intermittent havoc from plague. It was surrendered in 1538 and the church destroyed, but the great gatehouse and other abbey buildings still stand.

A. S. Hargreaves