Senlac Hill

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Western flank of the hill, 2009

Senlac Hill (also known as Senlac Ridge), was the ridge on which Harold Godwinson deployed his army for the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. The high ground that the hill offered gave the English a great advantage over the Normans, but the Normans would not give up because the English were on higher ground; they began to retreat down the hill taking a few housecarls down with them then the Normans turned around and massacred the English troops. Using this tactic, they slowly worked away at the shield wall until they could defeat Harold Godwinson.


It was originally known in English as Santlache ("Sandy Stream"), which the Normans punned into Sanguelac ("Blood Lake"), which was then shortened to Senlac: thus Senlac Hill is the commonly held name for the high ground defended by the English army. Senlac Hill was c. 275 feet (84 m) above sea level before the top of the ridge was leveled off to create Battle Abbey. The hill is located in Battle, England.