We walked down to the beach, and although it was reasonably warm, it was quite windy. The kids skipped rocks into the waves and we just relaxed for a bit. We've noticed that instead of calling it "the beach" most Brits refer to it as "the seaside." The seaside in Hastings wasn't a sandy beach at all, it was these rocks, which were beautiful.
The Battle took place in October of 1066, and it was a war between King Harold (Anglo-Saxon) and the Duke William II of Normandy. For various reasons, they both believed they were entitled to the English throne after the death of King Edward the Confessor.
The battle only lasted one day, and Duke William II came off conqueror. He then went on to take over the rest of the country and gain the crown for himself, significantly changing the course of English history.
The abbey was destroyed when King Henry VIII parted ways with the Catholic church and ordered its dissolution. The abbey later became a private residence for several hundred years. The surviving buildings are now a school, and the ruins are open to the public.
It was a really neat place to visit and made me excited to visit other abbey ruins. It reminds me of a quote I read in a book recently. Experiencing the world through history is such a gift!
"A feeling of immediate contact with the past is a sensation as deep as the purest enjoyment of art. It is an almost ecstatic sensation of no longer being myself, of overflowing into the world around me, of touching the essence of things, of through history experiencing the truth. The historic sensation is not the sensation of living the past again but of understanding the world [perhaps] as one does when listening to music..."