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On This Day



On This Day… The Battle Of Hastings

Written by: George Chittenden : 08 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 14th Oct, back in 1066 when one of the most famous and important battles in English history was fought, the Battle of Hastings. Like many battles in history, it was fought because one person wanted to be king of another place. In this case, William of Normandy in France wanted to be King of England. 1066 was a bad year for the English, with their King Edward the Confessor dying on January 5th and setting forth a devastating chain of events that involved several invasions, but ended with Edwards distant cousin, William of Normandy invading the south coast of England.

Harold Godwinson who had been crowned King of England in January 1066 following Edward’s death faced William’s army, but the English were no match for the Normans superior tactics. The two armies met at a place called Senlac Hill near Hastings to fight each other. The battle lasted all day and thousands of men were killed and injured. The main difference was the Norman use of cavalry. English armies used horses for getting around, but on the battlefield they fought on foot.

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry

The battle changed England forever and shaped it into the country it became. The language also changed, mixing Anglo-Saxon English with Norman French and creating the English we know today. The Normans also gave England better links to France and the rest of Europe. The Battle of Hastings also gave us one of the most famous tapestries in the world, the Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered cloth nearly 70 metres long depicting the events of the Norman conquest.

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