T5:11/20 also near March, Cambridgeshire

This battered old disk looks like it dates from the 11th Century, but it’s the 11th disk in the T5 series, the Centuries.

Geograph 613610 by Keith Edkins t5 11 20

(Image: © Copyright Keith Edkins and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.)

We’d expect to see graphics representing the Battle of Hastings, and I think we’re looking at a stylized version of the Bayeux Tapestry’s stylized version of the battle, which saw the defeat of Harold II, Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, on October 6, 1066.

Bayeux Tapestry scene57 Harold death

The chain-mail clad Harold (just below the label “hAROL”) is seen clutching the end of an arrow which has made its way past his helmet into his eye — a lucky shot by someone, although this “one in the eye” story is quite possibly a legend, and he may just have been hacked to death by rampaging Norman knights.

In the lower right corner is a good medieval representation of a comet. It’s Halley’s comet, which visits us every 75 years. The monk and historian William of Jumièges wrote in Gesta Normannorum Ducum (“Deeds of the Norman Dukes”) in 1070-1071:

“At that time [1066] a star appeared in the north-west, its three-forked tail stretched far into the southern sky remaining visible for fifteen days; and it was portended, as many said, a change in some kingdom.”

As a result of the battle, prince William became the first Viking-blooded King to sit on the throne of England.

The castle shown at the lower left might be a reference to the Tower of London, but it might also be a representative symbol of one of the 36 castles that William
built between 1066 and 1087, in a frenzy of development described as “the most extensive and concentrated programme of castle-building in the whole history of feudal Europe”.

Decoding the symbols around the side using the Utopian Alphabet key, and flipping the lines vertically or horizontally, as necessary:

-  s t r e a m s w 
s e v o l v e i n
l e f o r t h e

So these snippets of verse can be saved for later:

- streams w[...]
[...]s evolve in 
[...]le for the
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