Norman Conquest Encyclopedia
Everyone knows "The Battle of Hastings, 1066", but, like so many things everyone is said to know, William the Conqueror did not land at Hastings nor did a battle take place there. The Norman fleet, or most of it, made its landfall at Pevensey, some ten miles (16km) along the coast to the west where a Roman fort stood on a peninsula jutting into a lagoon. William moved to Hastings from where communications were better. The area to the north-west was a Roman iron-mining area and the Roman road from Rochester has been traced with some accuracy as far south as Bodiam, ten miles north of Hastings. One road probably came very much along the route of the A21 to cross the River Brede near Sedelscombe, at the time almost on the shore of the Channel, and another went close to the line of the A2100 to Caldbec Hill, leaving the marsh and lagoon of Bulverhythe to the west. Hastings itself offered a fine promontory site for safety and fortification on which a castle was subsequently built. Here William based himself, cold-bloodedly laying waste the villages along the shore to the north-east to tempt Harold Godwinsson away from London. On 13 October the English gathered at Caldbec Hill and early next morning the Normans went forth to meet them at Senlac Hill.
- Hastings 1066 (Revised Edition) - The Fall of Saxon England
(Campaign 13 )