AN astonishing collection of religious relics donated to Battle Abbey in Sussex by William the Conqueror has been newly identified.
The ancient artefacts include supposed pieces of the Infant Jesus’s manger, a hair shirt and the fingerbone of St Nicholas.
Battle Abbey marks the site of William’s victory over King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, leading to the Norman Conquest of England.
English Heritage historian Dr Michael Carter, who translated a manuscript which revealed details of the gifts, said the Conqueror gave more relics to Battle than any other abbey, ‘illustrating just how important the site of his victory remained’.
By coincidence, it has emerged that political relics are being sought for a display in the House of Commons to mark the Tory victory in last week’s election and the expected end of the Brexit impasse. Already collected are:
· A lock of Jeremy Corbyn’s hair, torn out when the exit poll came through.
· A fingernail chewed by Boris Johnson as he awaited the election result.
· A fragment of the bench on which Jacob Rees-Mogg reclined.
· A Bollocks to Brexit sticker from John Bercow’s car (torn in two).
· A side panel from a red bus with faded lettering relating to the NHS.
· Diane Abbott’s calculator (unused).
· John McDonnell’s copy of Das Kapital (torn in two).
· A piece of turf from College Green once stood upon by Laura Kuenssberg.
· A placard (broken in two) waved by that annoyingly shouty anti-Brexit demonstrator in the top hat.
· A bone gnawed by Dilyn the dog
· A draft of Jo Swinson’s acceptance speech as Prime Minister (unused).
It was hoped the centrepiece of the collection would be a long-lost relic known as Trust in Politicians. But it is feared this may be impossible to find.