Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14th October in 1066, fought between the Norman and French army led by Duke William of Normandy and the English army, led by King Harold.

A scene from BAYEUX TAPESTRY - Harold is crowned king.  © Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council)

A scene from BAYEUX TAPESTRY - Harold is crowned king.

© Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council)

With special thanks to:

Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux

Professor David Bates, Emeritus Professor in Medieval History at the University of East Anglia

Reading Museum & Town Hall


BATTLE OF HASTINGS TOPIC AREAS

Warfare

Both sides were matched by strength and stamina and the battle lasted an entire day, from 9am until dusk. Although matched on power, both sides used different tactics to fight... see Warfare for more on the tactics, weapons and style of fighting both sides used… more

Pictures of English History Plate XI - The Battle of Hastings.

Pictures of English History Plate XI - The Battle of Hastings.

People Profiles

Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, Sven Estrithsson, King of Denmark, Edgar the Ætheling, William, Duke of Normandy and Harold Godwinson believed they had a right to the throne - see more information to decide who you think had the stronger claim… more

The Battle of Stamford Bridge  by Peter-Nicolai Arbo

The Battle of Stamford Bridge by Peter-Nicolai Arbo


Living Through Conflict

After the Battle of Hastings life changed for many Anglo-Saxons - people’s homes and towns were destroyed, Normans migrated over to newly conquered England and land was taken away from the Saxons. Many of the population did accept that William as the new king, but there were many unhappy areas… more

Commemoration and Legacy

The Battle of Hastings is one of the most famous medieval battles in English history, one that is still definitely commemorated and remembered today. Remains of Norman castles can still be seen all over the country and even the English language has taken influence from the Norman invasion… more

Pevensey Castle, Sussex by  Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)

Pevensey Castle, Sussex by Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)


Artistic Responses to Conflict

The story of the Battle of Hastings and its aftermath is one that is full of myths and legends and so it can be difficult to know what the truth is. The few depictions of the battle are often very one sided and when compared, differ in what they say. One of the main sources we have about the battle is the Bayeux Tapestry which is nowadays seen as not one-sided at all.… more

© Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council)

© Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council)

 

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