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On This Day



On This Day… The Battle Of Stamford Bridge

Written by: George Chittenden : 05 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 25th Sept, back in 1066 when a fierce battle was fought between the English under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. Earlier that year in January Edward the Confessor’s death had created a power struggle in Europe, and several men were eager to fill the vacuum and take England’s throne.

The King of Norway, Harald Hardrada, had arrived in Scotland with his fleet of three-hundred ships and eleven-thousand Vikings. They sailed up the River Ouse and took the city of York, forcing King Harold’s army to travel from London to York, a distance of 185 miles in just four days. The English surprised Hardrada’s forces, catching them unprepared. The battle took place at the village of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, hence the name.

The battle itself was fierce and both Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson were killed. The English under King Harold Godwinson had won, long live the King! Meanwhile further south William of Normandy was preparing his invasion. He landed his invasion fleet on England’s south coast three days after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and after defeating King Harold Godwinson and his army at the Battle of Hastings he took control of the country.

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