By Marion Sargent
Battle is situated six miles north west of Hastings. It is well worth a visit for its olde worlde charm. The main attractions are the ruins of the Benedictine abbey and the famous battlefield of 1066. The abbey was founded by William of Normandy to commemorate his victory in the battle between his knights and the followers of the Saxon, King Harold, who lost his life here with an arrow through one eye.
In 1833 Battle was described as a market-town consisting of one
street. Even then the abbey was a ruin and there was
little to claim attention, according to Gorton's
Topographical Dictionary. A monthly market
and cattle fairs were held here and a number of gun-powder
mills were located in the neighbourhood.
Ann Wood (1776-1857), wife of the first George Sargent (1774-1861), was born and raised in or near Battle. She was employed as a cook at Ashburnham Place, a few miles to the west of Battle. She married George on 18 Jan 1798. They had ten children, all of whom were born in Battle.
George was a draper or clothier at 51 High Street, Battle. The residence would have been on the same premises. George died in Priory Road, Hastings, in 1861.
There is an interesting article in This England, Winter 1992 pages 74 and 75, entitled "St Peter's, Ashburnham, Sussex: Memorial to an Extinguished Line". This focuses on the church, but does give some information on Ashburnham Place and the Ashburnham family.
A notebook which belonged to Obeithio Sargent has
the entry: Mr B. Sargent, 5 Weston Avenue, Battle. We do not know
who this man was.