Battle of Hastings; 950th celebrations


Battle of Hastings; 950th celebrations

2016 marked 950 years since the great Battle of Hastings, fought on the battle fields of Senlac Hill. To mark the occasion numerous events happened in and around Battle during September and October. On this web page we have provided a roundup of what festivities took place.

What went on to mark the anniversary?

There was so much happening to mark the 950th anniversary, what we aimed to do here was to point you in the direction of events and websites that will give you the complete picture. Please note that these websites our not our own and we are unable to verify all the content.

** This anniversary celebration took place in September and October 2016, and is no longer active **

Saturday 1st October at the De La Warr Pavilion


Powerful new opera explores themes of invasion, loss and the redeeming power of human goodness

A World Premiere specially commissioned for Battle Festival 2016 and the ROOT 1066 International Festival in partnership with Glyndebourne and the De La Warr Pavilion.

Taking inspiration from events that shaped our history, PUSH explores themes of invasion, loss and the redeeming power of human kindness.

Written by internationally acclaimed composer Howard Moody, the opera is inspired by the compelling, true story of Simon Gronowski, who was pushed from a train bound for Auschwitz by his mother in 1943. Yet the story neither begins nor ends there. The narrative also draws on various accounts of those who have experienced refugee and prisoner status, including events of 2016; 'The Jungle' in Calais, the mass arrival of Syrian refugees into Europe, and the scenes from the train stations in Budapest as refugees were trapped whilst trying to board trains.

Making its world premiere on Saturday 1 October, PUSH will be performed by soloists James Newby (2016 winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award), Matthew Stiff and Tereza Gevorgyan. Musicians drawn from some of the UK's major orchestras will accompany a choir of 200 children and adults from across 1066 Country.  This thrilling and innovatively staged production is Directed by Simon Iorio, currently a staff director at Glyndebourne and  designed by award-winning Ele Slade ('Best Costume Designer' at the 2015 Off West End Awards, for Usagi Yojimbo at Southwark Playhouse).

Mr Gronowski himself will be guest of honour at the world premiere of this opera inspired by his extraordinary life.

"This project is wonderful: marvellous for the opera-and music-lovers, and helpful for the young generations, against the barbarity and for a better world, of peace, democracy, tolerance and friendship between men." Simon Gronowski

A very special project that sees world class performers working alongside community participants to present a remarkable story.

Supported by Arts Council England, Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, East Sussex Arts Partnership, Chalk Cliff Trust, Magdalen and Lasher Charity, Battle Partnership.

Sponsored by Hastings Direct.

PUSH is a Battle Festival production in partnership with Glyndebourne and the De La Warr Pavilion for Root 1066 International Festival. The world premiere will take place at the De La Warr Pavilion on Saturday 1st October 2016.  It will be followed by a semi-staged version in Battle on Saturday 8th October 2016.

For details of the Root 1066 Contemporary Arts Festival please go to the festival website at

Battle Festival presents Push

Rother has been a key partner in a number of projects developed to support the festivities and celebrations. Perhaps most notably we are working with Battle Festival and Glyndebourne Opera to develop a major new contemporary opera by internationally acclaimed composer Howard Moody.

Battle Festival Community Opera Battle Festival's producer, Sally Lampitt explains, "To mark the anniversary, Battle Festival wanted to commission a new work that takes its inspiration from events that shaped our history and looks at themes such as identity, culture, freedom, oppression, peace and tolerance. PUSH is the result."

Push will make its world premier on Saturday 1st October at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

To find out more go to the Battle Festival News pages at or @BattleFestival

The De La Warr Pavilion will be host to the Fiona Banner exhibition from the 24th September to the 8th January 2017.

Buoys Boys

As part of the Root 1066 International Festival

Leading British artist Fiona Banner presents an immersive installation exploring her ongoing interest in language and its limitations. The exhibition, which takes place both inside and outside of the gallery, is a play on digital versus material experiences.

For more information please go to the dlwp website or follow on twitter @dlwp

1066 Anniversary Grant Scheme

RDC 1066 community grants scheme Rother District Council 950th Anniversary Community Grants Scheme

To mark the 950th anniversary of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, in October 2016 Rother District Council set aside a pot of money (£10,000) to fund celebratory events organised by community organisations, schools etc.

Grants were made for up to £500, with applications being assessed on their individual merits. More information can be found at

HRAEN logo Hastings and Rother Arts Education Network: Mightier Than The Sword

HRAEN has funded two artists to produce work that will act as an inspirational starting point for schools across Hastings and Rother to respond to the 950 celebrations.  A final exhibition of the work produced will be show at The Source BMX over the summer.

For more information or to download the toolkits please go to the HRAEN website or follow @HRAENetwork


An original 50 foot long accordion folded collaged bookwork inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry by Lee Shearman. To stimulate new artistic response to the imagery, themes and history of the Bayeux tapestry.


The Channelling Words celebrates the 1066 anniversary by making poetry easy and fun. Using the toolkit as a springboard, pupils will be invited to make a live performance of their poems, backdropped by their visual displays, with the additional choice of a poetry competition known as a Poetry Slam or Rap Battle.

Battle Abbey is squarely at the heart of the anniversary celebrations and in 2016, 950 years after the battle, discover more about the full impact of the event with English Heritage and the 1066 Year of the Normans. The English Heritage website has a wealth of information about how you can get involved not only in Battle, East Sussex but across England.

Battle Town Council In Battle itself Battle Town Council has published a programme of events on it's website Battle Town Council you can also follow them on Twitter @BattleTownCncl 

The anniversary falls on the 14th October and to mark the day Concorde 1066 has events happening in Battle starting at 1pm with the Mayor of Battle receiving guests from France and elsewhere. They have also produced a souvenir brochure.

To celebrate, Hastings Borough Council has commissioned an international contemporary arts festival, bringing together the creative talents from Hastings, Rother and further afield, to form a programme of new and exciting projects to get involved with. The Root 1066 festival will be held in September in the build up to the big day. To find out more see the website at

Rother are partners in the very successful 1066Country marketing campaign, through which the 950 anniversary events are being listed. The website is updated regularly and events from the whole of 1066 Country are listed here alongside information on accommodation providers, history of the area and other non related local events.

1066 Country


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