Battle Abbey is a history-rich, partially ruined abbey complex in Sussex, built on the same ground that bore witness to the battle of 1066.
In 1070 William the Conqueror vowed to build a memorial abbey on the site of the Battle of Hastings, that had taken place just four years earlier in 1066. He planned to place the high alter of the church in the exact spot where King Harold had been killed during the battle, and the building of Battle Abbey was underway very quickly. However, William the Conqueror never saw his dream become a reality, sadly passing away 7 years before it was completed in 1094. It was remodeled in the late 13th century but virtually destroyed during King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, as were many other churches, abbeys and other places of worship. However, the monks of Battle Abbey at this time were provided with pensions - a small comfort that not many others received.
After the Dissolution, Battle Abbey became a private home, where it was passed down mostly between the Webster family, before becoming an all girls boarding school during the second world war. The Abbey is still the location of the 'Battle Abbey School', and was sold to the British Government in 1976, by Augustus Websters descendants, where it settled in the careful hands of English Heritage.
These days, not a huge amount of this Grade I listed Abbey remains - only those parts built in the 13th and 16th centuries are still left standing. Visitors are still able to see the grounds and ruins of the previous buildings, and can also enjoy audio tours, educational films and the monks gatehouse, and well as a child-friendly discovery room and playground, and a cafe.