The anniversary of The Battle of Hastings

The Battle of HastingsThe anniversary of The Battle of Hastings: comprehensions

Friday 14th October 2016 marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. This was a battle between Harold Godwinson, the new King of England and William, Duke of Normandy who was fighting for the throne. William and his Norman army won the battle (in just one day!) and this was the last time that England was successfully invaded! In memory of the Battle of Hastings we are releasing a set of worksheets which include: The lead up to the Battle of Hastings, The Battle of Hastings, Harold Godwinson, William the Conqueror and the Bayeux Tapestry.

When King Edward the Confessor of England died childless on 5th January 1066 there was no obvious heir to the English throne and to complicate matters he appears to have promised his crown to two people! William, Duke of Normandy was his first cousin once removed and swore that Edward had promised him the throne, but on his deathbed Edward appears to have promised the throne to his brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson. Harold was crowned King at Westminster Abbey and William was furious and planned an invasion of England. Meanwhile Harald Hardrada (King of Norway) got to hear about this and he also had something to say: he believed he should be King of England due to an earlier arrangement between King Hardicanute of England and Denmark and King Magnus I of Norway!

Harald Hardrada joined forces with King Harold’s exiled brother Tostig Godwinson and they attacked England from the north. King Harold marched his army up to Yorkshire to fight them at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. King Harold and his army won this battle but then heard that William and his Norman army had landed on the south coast so they had to march straight back to stop the Norman invasion in Sussex! This all culminated in the Battle of Hastings which took place on 14th October 1066.

The Bayeux Tapestry which was made around the 1070’s shows the events between 1064 -1066 which led up to the Norman conquest of England. It is probably the most famous tapestry in Europe, but read the worksheet to find out why it isn’t actually a tapestry.

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