Duke William II of Normandy had spent nine months building a fleet large enough to cross the Channel and invade England, and it was on this day in 1066 that he met with the English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II about seven miles in from the English coast, close to the present-day town of Battle in East Sussex.
It was a decisive Norman victory, which sealed William's conquest of England. Estimates suggest that two thousand invaders died along with about twice that number of Englishmen. William is said to have founded a monastery on the site of the battle, with the high altar of the abbey church at the spot where King Harold died, so today we will be drinking an Abbey Martini.
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