King Harold at Senlac (Re-Named
Battle), Near Hastings
King Harold and his
Saxon army had made camp seven miles outside Hastings at
The Anglo-Saxons had
no cavalry and few archers but they struck a defensive
position at Senlac and formed a tight shield wall with their
battle-axes at the ready. Their main weapons were the Danish
battle-axe (a two-handed, long-handled battle axe with a heavy
chopping head) and a long double-edged sword.
The ruins of Battle
Abbey at this hour attest the place where Harold's army was
posted; and the high altar of the abbey stood on the very spot
where Harold's own standard was planted during the fight, and
where the carnage was the thickest. Before that time the place
was called Senlac.
Little of the ancient
Abbey now remains; but it is easy to trace in the park and the
neighborhood the scenes of the chief incidents in the action;
and it is impossible to deny the generalship shown by Harold
in stationing his men, especially when we bear in mind that he
was deficient in cavalry, the arm in which his adversary's
main strength consisted.