Fulford Battlefield Research Website


 Recording the events of September 1066
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York in 1066
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3D view of battle
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Riccall Rampage

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The area of the battle has changed a little since 1066 but it is still possible to walk over and understand the way the battle was fought.


The landscape changes:
  • The place where the English shieldwall formed up is as it was in 1066. Only the A19 and the stone bridge, which cuts through the two lines, his changed. A terrace of five houses has been built beside the road.
  • The space where the Norse shieldwall formed up has not been built over. But the land has been filled to make it a flat playing field but the land that slopes down to the old ford can be observed all around.
  • The redirection of Germany Beck between Fordlands Road bridge and the A19 Stone Bridge removes the lazy loop beneath the playing fields and it has been canalised to the north.
  • A cemetery occupies the Norse right flank.
  • There is one old folks’ home built along the beck.
  • The ditch that separated the two armies can be clearly seen to the east of the ford although the water channel is now along one edge rather than meandering across the peat.
  • The right flank of the English, beside the river Ouse, is still open ground as are the Ings.
  • The trackway through Water Fulford that leads down to the ford is still there.


During flooding events it is also possible to understand the changes that have been made to the route of the beck.

The line of the beck that was revealed by the deep soil cores is evident during a modest flood. The old route and its course to the Ings is the first to flood as water rises.

The upwelling is at the spot where the old route reached the Ings (see map at the top of the page).

 This might be an old culvert built when the bridge was built and the beck re-routed. No records of this work can be traced.

This photo was taken from the Stone bridge, the old course of the beck runs between some raised land and the modern route.

We have been trying to identify a causeway on this higher ground which was possibly used until about 7th century.

How much of the battle site has survived?

The site has survived remarkably well. It is possible to use public footpaths to walk all the way from Riccall, to the fording place at the heart of the battle. You can walk along both shieldwalls without moving off public paths. Many of the paths are suitable for push and wheel chairs and they link the site to a nearby Park and Ride. The battle site is already well served with buses and has excellent foot and cycle access to the city centre. It is ready made for visitors and I have conducted over 100 parties round the site and organised four re-enactments.

It is possible to give an excellent tour and in many places to stand on the surface where the battle lines were drawn up in 1066. So I really feel the term ‘cultural crime’ can be applied to those who conspire to remove this option by making this precise area into an access road.

These changes are small. It is easy to point to the 1066 landscape and the few modern intrusions could easily be excluded when, for example, the BBC even made a short film about the battle. The context has survived well so there is much to preserve.


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The author of the content is Charles Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com   Last updated April 2015

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