William the Conqueror's Dining Stone – Hastings, England - Atlas Obscura

William the Conqueror's Dining Stone

Tradition says that William the Conqueror dined on this stone after landing his Norman invasion fleet nearby. 

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William the Conqueror’s Dining Stone is a large stone that overlooks the beach of St Leonards. Legend says that William, Duke of Normandy, used this ancient stone as a dining table after landing his Norman invasion of England in 1066. However, some suggest that this stone may have instead been part of King Harold Godwinson’s tomb, who was killed by William’s army during the Battle of Hastings.

Regardless of its true purpose, the stone has captured the imagination of many beachgoers and passers-by for centuries. Originally located over a spring-fed natural pool known as Old Woman’s Tap, now the site of the Royal Victoria Hotel, the stone was moved when the hotel was built. Following this, the stone has been moved several times over the years before finally being placed in its current location in 1987. 

At odds with the fortifications and fields also tied to the 1066 Norman invasion, this unusual piece of furniture has perhaps just as important a role, for it is said “an army marches on its stomach.”

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April 29, 2024

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