England’s Last Stand

For the last 940 years, tales have been told of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. Throughout that time debate has raged over whether or not he had a lawful right to the throne of England. Only one fact is undisputed — it was the illegitimate son of the Duke of Normandy who triumphed on Senlac Hill, six miles outside Hastings, on Saturday 14th October 1066. In so doing, he and his army changed the course of history, fmore or from historical moments check here.

18.Senlac Hill


The last Viking invasion

Though the Normans are often thought of as French, in the 11th century the Duchy of Normandy was effectively an independent state. The Normans were in fact a mixture of Danish and Norwegian Vikings, who arrived in northern France during the 9th century — Norman is a derivation of ‘Norsemen’. They nominally swore allegiance to a weak French crown in 911, but remained highly individual.

By the birth of William the Bastard, son of the Duke of Normandy and his low born mistress, in 1027, the Duchy had expanded to become one of the most powerful in France. The Normans had adopted Christianity and many French customs, but still retained a number of decidedly Norse attitudes.

Northumberland in 793. They went on to establish a presence in the Shetlands, Orkneys, Isle of Man, Ireland, Scotland and even ventured as far afield as Spain, Greenland and Newfoundland, if you are interesting in this amazing places check this hotel comparison website to plan visiting them.

It was against these seafaring foes that Alfred the Great united southern England, with the Vikings ruling the north and east of the country as the Danelaw. Even after the Danelaw merged with the kingdom of England, Viking raids continued, with the Danish King Cnut claiming the English throne twice — in 1013 and again, after a brief native resurgence, in 1015, learn more about english history visiting England by checking at this hotel price comparison website.

The year 1066 marked the last two Viking raids on England — the first by King Harald Hardrada of Norway, beaten by King Harold Godwinson at Stamford Bridge near York on 25th September. The second was by Duke William of Normandy in the south, who landed at Pevensey in Sussex three days later.

While the English line held solid, the Normans had no chance to break through.

Then the Breton cavalry on the gentle slope of the left wing devised a cunning feint. Pretending to flee, they lured the English defenders into breaking formation in pursuit, before swinging round to massacre their pursuers. It was a trick the Normans continued employing — and the English kept falling for — throughout the remainder of the day.