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Directory: 1840 Directory of Sussex.

Pages: -.

Name: Battle.

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BATTLE Or, Battel, is a market town and parish, in the hundred of its name and rape of Hastings, 56 miles S.E. from London, 24 S.S.E. from Tonbridge, and 7 N.W. from Hastings; situated in a beautiful valley, bounded on the west, south and south-east by wood-crowned eminences. This place, anciently called Epiton, derives its present appellation from the memorable battle fought there, October 14th, 1066, between Harold, King of England, and William, Duke of Normandy, afterwards surnamed the conqueror. He founded a magnificent abbey for monks of the Benedictine order, and raised the high altar on the very spot where Harold and his valiant brothers fell, covered with wounds, beside of the English standard. There are still considerable remains of this edifice; the gatehouse, a beautiful specimen of the decorated style of English architecture, is in entire preservation, and many parts of the conventual buildings have been retained in the modern mansion of Battle Abbey. The town consist principally of one street, wide and airy, and well lighted with gas; the dwellings are for the most part ancient and indifferently built, but of late the taste for improvement has exhibited itself in the erection of several handsome houses and shops. The only manufacture of consequence, and for which Battle has long been celebrated, is gunpowder, which is manufactured to a considerable extent; the tanning of leather, carried on extensively by Mr. Noakes, is the next most prominent branch. There are three principle inns; of these the ‘Chequers’ and the ‘George’ are well known to the commercial traveller – the latter is also a posting house. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold their petty sessions her for the district twice a month; but this being a franchise, the inhabitants are exempt from serving on juries at the assizes and sessions for the county. A coroner and other officers, appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor, are the municipal officers. Battle is one of the polling stations at the election of members for East Sussex.

The church, dedicated to St Mary, is a spacious structure, partly Norman, and partly in the early a later styles of English architecture. The living is a rural deanery, and the proprietor of the abbey, in whom is the presentation of the benefice, is still styled the abbot, and the incumbent is the dean; the former is Sir Godfrey Webster, Bart. the lord of the manor; the latter the Very Rev. Dr Thomas Birch. There are places of worship for baptists, Wesleyan methodists and unitarians. The principal charity is a free school, founded by Mrs. Elizabeth Langton, in 1793, for the instruction of fifteen boys and the like number of girls. A respectable book society was established here in 1792, which continues to be well supported, and a mechanics’ institution, of more recent date, has obtained merited encouragement; there is also a savings’ bank. The market, held on the second Tuesday in the month, is chiefly for cattle; the fairs are on Whit-Monday and 22nd November, for cattle, and 6th September, for sheep. The parish contained, in 1831, 2,999 inhabitants.

POST OFFICE, Francis William Ticehurst, Post Master. – Letters from London arrive every morning at twenty minutes before four, and are despatched every night at ten minutes before eleven. – Letters from WORTHING, BRIGHTON, LEWES, EASTBOURNE, &C. arrive and are despatched (by mail cart) every night at half-past twelve. – Letters from MARGATE, DEAL, DOVER, FOLKESTONE, HYTHE, RYE and HASTINGS arrive every night at ten minutes before eleven, and are despatched every morning at twenty minutes before four. – Letters from HAILSHAM arrive (by mail cart) every night at nine, and are despatched every morning at half past six. – Letters by Penny Post are despatched to BEXHILL, SEDDLESCOMBE & WESTFIELD every morning at 7.

Transcription details

The text for this section was transcribed by: Mark Collins.

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