Battle Abbey is the 11th century Benedictine Abbey of St Martin, founded by King William I. Built on Senlac Ridge, a stone marks the spot where tradition says, King Harold fell mortally wounded during the Battle of Hastings. In 1338 Abbot Alan of Ketling, was granted a licence to crenellate and the abbey fortify itself, as protection against French raids.
A wall-walk was added to the precinct wall and a square three storeys gatehouse, with a castellated parapet and octagonal turrets on the angles, replaced the Norman gate. The vehicular and pedestrian vaulted entrance passages, have ornamental archways and half-way up the stairs to the great chamber, an archway contains a portcullis groove and in the vault, are two murder holes.
The gateway is more like a miniature keep and on both sides are the remains of late 11th and 12th century ranges, with the 16th century courthouse in the east range, incorporating traces of the almonry. 5 miles north is Glottenham Castle and 7 miles south-east is Hastings Castle.
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