Swaffham students mark 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings
- Credit: Ian Burt
On grounds where a Norman knight who fought alongside William the Conqueror once roamed, school children armed with pencils and clipboards learned about one of the most famous and important battles in English history.
To mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, pupils from Sacred Heart School in Swaffham and Broadlands Hall School, near Haverhill, visited Castle Acre Priory yesterday to learn about the Normans' victory over the Anglo-Saxons on October 14, 1066.
Castle Acre Priory, near Swaffham, was built for Norman knight William de Warenne, who fought at Hastings, just a few years after that famous battle.
English Heritage has welcomed five schools to the priory this week, including Watton-based Wayland Academy and Hellesdon High School, on Wednesday, and Langley School on Thursday.
Pupils have toured the historic grounds and learned about Norman life, including stonemasonry, chart book exercises and traditional Norman market days.
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Chantelle Joysury, education marketing manager, London and East, for English Heritage said: 'Our motto is stand where history happened – and the children are certainly doing that today.
'Learning from text books is important, but it's a great experience for the children to get out here and use their creative skills to really bring history to life.'
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She added: 'While these events are a one-off we are always open to welcoming schools here and it is great this week that we have been able to build new relationships with five schools.'
Natalie Wilson, head of humanities at Sacred Heart School, said: 'It has been a great experience and the children have really engaged with it.
'They have been learning about the Battle of Hastings in school and they have learned so much more by coming out here.'
Students and historians up and down the country marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings yesterday.
A group of 'warriors' recreating the 300-mile march made by King Harold to the battle site in East Sussex, arrived during the morning.
They left York last month, travelling on foot and horseback and living in Saxon-style camps along the way.
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