Swords clash and horses charge for re-enactment of Battle of Hastings

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On the very spot where King Harold and his men did battle with William the Conqueror nearly 1,000 years ago, the sound of swords clashing rang out once again on Saturday.

Speartips glinted in the October sunshine as around 500 soldiers donned chainmail armour as they marched to the battlefield.

Although blades were blunter than they were in 1066, high drama was still on display as re-enactors clashed at the Battle of Hastings re-enactment.

The exhibition fight took place near the historic Battle Abbey in East Sussex ahead of the anniversary of the epic battle on Thursday.

Battle of Hastings re-enactment
A re-enactor playing the part of King Harold Godwinson (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Archers let loose their arrows and mounted cavalry charged across the green fields that once saw the fate of England decided.

One actor playing the unfortunate King Harold – without an arrow in his eye – was seen yelling to his troops, perhaps in an effort to inspire them to a different result than befell the real monarch in the 11th century.

The real Battle of Hastings saw thousands of troops clash as Harold and William vied for control of the English throne.

The power struggle followed the death of the childless King Edward the Confessor in January 1066.

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