Battle and District
                 Historical Society


Through Battle the Land and the Nation

BDHS is an active and thriving local history society covering not just Battle but the area around this historic town. Our 2023-2024 season programme can be seen by clicking the Programme bar on the left.

To join or re-join see details of ‘How to Join’ on the drop down menu on the left. Visitors are normally welcome to lectures for a small fee – refundable if you join!

Drop into the ‘Newsletter and News’ tag on the left or check out our Facebook page to get up to date information about what is happening within and around the society.

BDHS Publications (click on an image to get full book details)

Books are available for UK delivery from our webstore or from other suppliers worldwide


The BDHS Road Names Project

The BDHS Research Group has been looking into the origins of the road names in Battle and the surrounding district. The results of its work can be found here where you can also find a contact form to raise any comments, thoughts or suggestions which could help us to update our list.


The Thomas Eldridge of Westfield Glass Plate Archive

In 1913 Thomas Eldridge owned ‘Eldridge and Son Grocery and Drapery Store’ on the corner of Cottage Lane and New Cut Westfield. He also took photos for the people of Westfield and a box of 84 glass negative plates (6.5” x 5”) has survived.

These plates show a picture of Westfield people who, in their best clothes or uniforms, came to the shop to have their portrait captured in the back garden or who were photographed at their home.

There are photographs of weddings, families outside their home, children, mothers with babies and young children, school May Day celebrations, staff at Westfield Place, vehicles and the shop front with deliveries.

During the period when these photographs were taken, Thomas Eldridge had building work done, maybe inspired by the marriage of his son. There was a long glasshouse built on the side of the shop facing New Cut and the semi-detached houses of Sunnyside, again on New Cut.

You can see the village through the lens and as Thomas himself saw it but there is one photo in which you can see him – plate 84 (shown above) – at the wedding of his son, sitting at the bride’s left hand.

Digital images made from the original glass plates can be viewed by kind permission of their owner, Kay Cornes, here.


Sedlescombe Village History

The Sedlescombe Village History collection, prepared by Pauline Raymond, features presentations that provide a fascinating insight into the history of Sedlescombe. The collection can be accessed here.


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  • Battle and District Historical Society The Society is one of the lively and active societies of the town of Battle and welcomes members from all over the district and further afield. With a regular lecture programme that attracts expert speakers you can expect to hear talks on a wide range of historic subjects, be able to participate in our research and reading groups, have access to our unique archive and be offered an occasional visit to somewhere of historical importance. Above all you will be welcomed!

  • Collectanea – our Virtual Library Collectanea is our virtual library of papers concerning the history of Battle and District. Written mainly by local historians each paper is well researched. We cover the history of our area from pre-historic to near modern times with a comprehensive range of subjects. Click on the icon above or the link on the left menu to go to Collectanea .

  • Battle Museum of Local History If you are visiting Battle do not forget to include a visit to the Battle Museum of Local History. An excellent small museum, with free entry, you will be able to see amongst many interesting objects ‘The Battle Axe’ possibly the only example of a weapon used at the Battle of Hastings. Also included in the 1066 exhibition is a complete print of the Bayeux Tapestry by Charles Stothard, recreations of scenes from the Tapestry and a replica of the Alderney Tapestry which was completed in 2013..

  • GeoTourist The BDHS Research Group have contributed a Battle History Tour to the GeoTourist App. Sponsored by Battle Town Council it is narrated by the actor, Anton Lesser. Go to Google Play or Apple App stores to download it to your Smartphone. Or see section R of Collectanea.

  • Keywords Battle, Battle History, Battle-History, East Sussex, Hastings, Battle Abbey, Battle of Hastings, Battle Town, Battle East Sussex, 1066, William the Conqueror, King William, William I, Harold Godwinson, King Harold, Earl Godwin, Local History of Battle, Local History, Battle Sussex, Battle and District, BDHS, Senlac, Senlac Hill, Battle and District Historical Society, Battle History Society, Battle Historical Society, East Sussex History Society, History of Battle Sussex, History of Battle East Sussex, History of Battle England, Westfield, Catsfield, Ninfield, Netherfield,Ashburnham, Penhurst, Mountfield, Sedlescombe, Robertsbridge, Brede, Dallington, Brightling, Salehurst, Ewhurst, Bodiam
About Battle Battle is a small town in East Sussex, England. It is twinned with St Valery-sur-Somme in France, from whence William launched his invasion of England, which led to the Battle of Hastings. Battle town was founded to support Battle Abbey, built on the site of the Battle of Hastings, where William, Duke of Normandy, defeated Harold Godwinson. William founded the famous abbey in 1070 to atone for the many deaths, not just at the time of his victory but over the next four years as he subjugated England. Battle lies at the heart of 1066 Country – a leading destination of historical significance and within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.There are: an annual Arts and Music Festival in October; an annual Marbles Match and Easter Bonnet Parade on Good Friday; a Medieval Fayre during the late May Bank Holiday; a Scarecrow Festival in July; Battle of Hastings re-enactments in October; Battel Bonfire Boyes celebrations in November; and Battle is lit up for Christmas. This unique town is 55 miles (89km) south of London, on the London to Hastings rail line and just off the A21. Hastings, St Leonards on Sea and Bexhill lie on the English Channel coast 6 miles (9.5km) to the south, with Rye to the east and Pevensey to the west.         

Please note: The society, it’s officers, or it’s members cannot be responsible for the content or quality of any external sites linked to this website. Please exercise care and discretion in all web activity. Any views or opinions or representations as to fact included on this website are those of the respective contributors and may not reflect the views of the society, its members or its officers. We make every effort to respect copyrights. Please let us know of any potential infringement and we shall make appropriate corrections.

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