The Battle Of Hastings (1066)
The Battle Of Hastings is known as one of the bloodiest battles in British history and saw William The Conquerer defeat King Harold over the course of one day. It took place on a Saturday, and despite both sides assuming it would be much longer, the victor was clear around 5 pm (it started around 9 am that morning). Despite its famous name, the battle did not actually happen in Hastings, rather being waged in a field just over seven miles away. The Normans used a tactic known as ‘feigned flight’ meaning that they pretended to be scared and defeated by The English troops. This made The English break formation in victory and become instantly vulnerable, something The Normans took advantage of. The story of the battle can be seen in the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry, but there may actually be some inaccuracies in the beautiful artwork. Although it is often said that Harold died due to an arrow shot to his eye, many historians believe this to be untrue and that he actually was killed by drubbing (being beaten). On the site of the battle stands Battle Abbey, a religious building that William The Conqueror had constructed to atone to God for the blood and violence that had taken place on the day.
Learn more about this fascinating time in English history with these activities!