A HIGH Court fight has begun over the location of the first crucial battle of 1066.

Archaeologist Charles "Chas" Jones is challenging a refusal by English Heritage to register Germany Beck just south of York as the site of the Battle of Fulford.

It was the first of three battles that year which decided whether a Viking, Anglo-Saxon or Norman sat on the English throne.

Mr Jones has carried out extensive research since 2000 and argues Germany Beck was the most probable site. It is also the site where Persimmon Homes last year finally won permission to build 655 homes after a 20-year planning saga.

English Heritage refused in November 2012 to designate the site on the official Battlefield Register and that decision was upheld on review last summer.

Their experts concluded that even though it was "probable" Germany Beck was the battlefield site the evidence was not sufficient to securely identify it for registration.

However Ian Dove QC, for Mr Jones, argued at London's High Court today (May 22) that the decision could stand because the decision-makers failed to apply the correct "location" test.

That involved consideration of whether there was evidence that a battle had occurred in a particular location "with a fair degree of probability".

At the Fulford battle, a Viking army defeated an Anglo-Saxon force, causing Saxon king Harold to march his army north and he defeated the Viking invaders at the Battle of Stamford Bridge five days later.

However after his victory, Harold had to march his tired and battered army swiftly south again to take on William of Normandy at Hastings.