William the Conqueror did not want Harold’s burial spot to become a shrine for discontented Saxons. According to some histories Harold’s lover, or hand-fast wife, Edith Swan neck went onto the battle field and discovered Harold’s horribly mutilated body by markings known only to her. Meanwhile Harold’s mother Gytha offered William her son’s weight in gold in order to recover the body and give it a Christian burial. According to William of Jumieges the Conqueror had the body buried under a cairn on the shore.
However, it is usually agreed that the body was either transported in secrecy, that the Conqueror relented or that there was a heart only burial at Waltham Abbey in Essex. The Abbey was founded by Harold who owned large estates in Waltham. One of the reasons why he founded the abbey was because he was allegedly cured of paralysis as a child. The Waltham Chronicle goes a step further and has two monks accompany the king to Hastings and take part in the search for the body and the request to William.
In 2014 there was a survey carried out to try and find the body which had been moved to the high altar in the medieval period but during the course of the Reformation the final resting place of the supposed bones of King Harold were lost.
A more recent supposition is that the body was moved to Bosham Church. This idea developed in 1954 when during work a Saxon grave was uncovered near the chancel steps close to a grave containing the remains of King Cnut’s daughter – an eight year old who drowned in the nearby river. These remains had been rediscovered during the Victorian period. To be buried near the chancel suggests a high rank – there is the small problem that analysis of the bones at the time suggested someone older than Harold but it does remain a possibility. Bosham fell into the hands of William the Conqueror after 1066.
And just because I can – there’s also the theory that Harold survived Hastings and spent his life on various pilgrimages before going back to Waltham to die. If that theory takes your fancy then you can read more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-29612656
The image of the marker comes from http://blueborage.blogspot.com/2016/10/is-king-harold-buried-here-ruins-at.html