Book detail:


Battle Abbey & Battle Churches since 1066.


Keith Foord.

Parish(s) covered:


Church(es) covered:

Battle Abbey, Congregational Church, Wesleyan Chapel, Our Lady Immaculate & St Michael, St Mary the Virgin, The Ascension, Telham, Unitarian Chapel, Vidler's Chapel, Zion Baptist Chapel.


From publicity material: Dr Foord draws upon a rich variety of sources, from Searle’s classic ‘Lordship and Community’ to unpublished papers belonging to the respective churches of Battle and documents located in the East Sussex Record Office. Included with the bibliography is an interesting list of web-sites, and the 164 pages of narrative benefit from a comprehensive index. The book is profusely illustrated with 73 black and white illustrations and 36 colour plates.
For too long the histories of Battle have, understandably, focussed upon the abbey and early development of the town, ending where the free spiritual life of the town essentially begins – at The Dissolution. Without attempting to explain or illustrate the turmoils of faith which rolled like torrents into the ensuing void the curious reader, resident or visitor is denied an insight into the vibrant political and spiritual life of the townsfolk of Battle during the socio-ecclesiastical tumult of the seventeenth- to the nineteenth-centuries. With the publication of this book a plug has now been placed in that gap and, to add another metaphor, a light is now shone upon the human story. Presbyterianism was first among the non-conformist sects to establish themselves in Battle, in 1696 and Presbyterianism was to hold a virtual monopoly in non-conformist activity until it could no longer contend with the explosion of religious turmoil from the mid eighteenth-century, when Baptists, Unitarians and finally Wesleyans appeared. Eighteenth-century religious radicalism and dissent was reflected in (or led to) political radicalisation in the nineteenth-century, with Battle being visited by some of those reformers such as William Cobbett during the period of agrarian reform.
Dr Foord observes that ‘some sources may be more than a little suspect….or written from biased viewpoints.’ However that may be, the work itself gives not only an excellent single point of reference for those interested in knowing more about the religious life of Battle’s residents, but also shows through its narrative the powerful motivations and zeal of those (invariably few) individuals, who carried their faith into their community; the rich topography of which we, today, are the inheritors.

First Published:


ISBN 13:


Publisher details:

Name: Battle Methodist Church.

The advertisements below are served by Google; the very small revenue generated when people click on them sometimes covers the cost of hosting the Sussex OPC website.