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Hunt is on in England for 1066 arrows

Press AssociationPress Association 10/06/2016 Emily Beament

A hunt for 1066 arrows hidden at castles, forts, stone circles and stately homes has been launched in England to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

English Heritage has hidden the red-tipped and red-feathered arrows for visitors to find at sites from the Isle of Wight to Hadrian's Wall, as part of its commemorations of the events of 1066, one of the most important dates in English history.

People who find the arrows will win one of 1066 prizes, including a castle sleepover, a private tour of Stonehenge and tickets to English Heritage's re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings in October, the heritage charity said.

To launch the "1066 arrow hunt", English Heritage is unveiling a giant arrow at the Battle of Hastings battlefield, which is not in Hastings but in what is now the nearby town of Battle, in East Sussex.

The battle, on October 14 1066, saw the death of the country's last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold Godwinson, much of England's nobility wiped out and William, Duke of Normandy, clear to claim the English throne.

A recent poll found 1066 was the most memorable date in English history, with 34 per cent putting it top, well above second-placed 1945, marking the end of the Second World War, which was chosen by eight per cent of the 2053 people quizzed.

Kate Mavor, English Heritage's chief executive, said: "1066 is the most famous date in English history and the Battle of Hastings was arguably the most important battle in our history, the results of which had consequences for every corner of England.

"We've now hidden 1066 arrows at our sites - big and small - right across the country. Find an arrow and you'll win a fantastic prize. And while you're looking, you'll discover the greatest sites in England, where history really happened.

"We've launched the hunt with a giant arrow on the very site where William beat Harold - a dramatic way to represent this turning point in history."

The search starts this week, and continues until all arrows have been found.

Other events to mark the anniversary include recreating the march of King Harold's army from Yorkshire, where he defeated invading Norwegian forces led by Viking king Harald Hardrada, down to Battle, and his decisive clash with the Normans.

English Heritage will also open up the roof of the Great Gatehouse at the abbey founded by William of Normandy - who became known as the Conqueror - on the battlefield where King Harold died, to give visitors a new perspective on the site.

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