Saturday 27 December 2014

Battle of Fulford skirmish lost

Published 11/07/2014 | 15:33

Chas Jones believes the Battle of Fulford near York was fought at Germany Beck
Chas Jones believes the Battle of Fulford near York was fought at Germany Beck

An "admired" archaeologist has lost his High Court skirmish over "the first battle of 1066".

Charles "Chas" Jones challenged a refusal by English Heritage to register Germany Beck at York as the site of the Battle of Fulford.

The "forgotten" battle is of historical significance because it was part of a real-life Game Of Thrones which culminated in the eventual defeat of Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson by William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

Mr Jones has carried out extensive research since 2000 and published "Finding Fulford - The search for the first battle of 1066".

He argues Germany Beck was the most probable site. It is also where Persimmon Homes has roused opposition by proposing to build 655 homes.

English Heritage, which protects and promotes historical sites round the country, took advice from a Battlefield Advisory Panel and refused in November 2012 to designate the Fulford site on an official Battlefield Register. The decision was upheld on review in July 2013.

English Heritage experts concluded that even though it was "probable" Germany Beck was the battlefield site the evidence was "insufficiently conclusive" to "securely identify" it for registration.

And today Mr Justice Lindblom, sitting in London, ruled its decision not to register "impeccable".

The judge said of his decision: "This will be disappointing for Mr Jones. He is surely to be admired for the work he has done over many years in seeking to find the site of the Battle of Fulford - no easy task for a battle that was fought almost 1,000 years ago.

"He may be right in his belief that the battle was fought at Germany Beck.

"But the court's task in these proceedings has not been to decide whether his conclusion in Finding Fulford is sound, but only whether the refusal of English Heritage to add the site to hits battlefields register was legally flawed.

"And in my view there was no error of law."

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