The New Battle of Agincourt: Britons and French join forces to save famous battlefield from wind turbines more than 600 years after epic clash
Historical enemies are uniting to protest against the building of massive wind turbines near the site of the battle of Agincourt.
Parties from both sides of the channel have moved to condemn the idea of having the 500ft structures looming over the site of one of Britain’s most indelible victories ever.
The turbines would stand as close as 800 yards away from the battlefield where England over came the odds to defeat French forces during the battle of Agincourt On St Crispin’s Day in 1415.
Preparations are already underway to build 16 wind turbines in the village now known as Azincourt.
Gary Ashley, a 62-year-old battlefield guide from Rotherham who is based near the site said there has to be a line drawn for where wind farms are built.
He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I’m not here just to defend a British battlefield. The field is soaked in french blood. You can’t make this stuff up, it’s Game of Thrones for real.’
Service roads and electric cabling have already been put up along with 200 ft masts.
The new developer has also signed up five surrounding villages, putting them at loggerheads with locals who are against the move, being backed by Brits including actor, Jeremy Irons.
The British interest was also voiced by the late Stephen Hawking’s wife, Jane Hawking.
Ms Hawking, who bought a house in the area with her ex-husband in the late eighties, said: ‘Let us go once more unto the breach at Agincourt, but this time in support of our French friends and an important part of our own heritage.’
A similar poetic message was delivered when similar issues arose in 2003, the cross-Channel protest was eloquently summed up by the actor, Robert Hardy who wrote a letter to the Telegraph saying a battlefield is ‘a place to pursue historical truth.’
More recently, protests have taken on a more physical form. A medieval history enthusiast named Patrick Fenet held a longbow at the site this week, reminiscent of the Welsh archers who helped win the battle for the British.
The 70-year-old said: ‘These turbines will spoil the surrounding, all that the battlefield represents and the efforts of those trying to develop historical tourism.’
Despite Jeremy Irons saying although wind energy is ‘wonderful’ it has to be ‘carefully placed’ – one mayor from a nearby village denied that he was desecrating the historical significance of the site.
Daniel Boquet the 71-year-old mayor of Bealencourt said: ‘Each of us is boss in our village. Personally, I don’t think this will stop people coming.’
He, and other pro wind farm mayors stand to benefit money-wise from the planned move.
Some nearby mayors claim to support both historical sites and renewable energy initiatives simultaneously.
‘It’s much easier to be against everything than for it, particularly in France. Everyone is for ecology but not in my backyard,’ said Etienne Perin, mayor of Maisoncelle.
Azincourt recently pumped millions into making the battlefield more attractive to visitors including revamping the museum, so the turbine timing couldn’t be worse according to the mayor of the village itself.
‘I will not be the mayor who builds wind farms around the battlefield. We absolutely have to protect it from any visual pollution,’ said Azincourt’s mayor Nicolas Poclet.
He has a powerful supporter in Xavier Bertrand, head of the Hauts-de-France region, who angrily told the government ‘give us a break over wind farms.’
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