The Norman conquest of England began in 1066 when King Edward "The Confessor" of England passed away (1). Edward left no clear heir, and there were three contenders for the throne. The leading contender was Harold Godwinson, one of Edward's advisers, as well as his brother-in-law. The other two who laid claim to the throne were William, Duke of Normandy, and Harald Hardrada, King of Norway. As he died, Edward was quoted as saying "Into Harold's hands I commit my Kingdom." Harold had already been the likely choice for king, and this sealed the deal for him. He was unanimously elected by the council of royal advisers and crowned the same day Edward was buried.
The module explores the Norman Conquest of 1066, the Battle of Hastings, and the imposition of Norman power on Saxon England, focusing on castle building and the 'Harrying of the North'. It shows how the Norman kings consolidated their powerbase through control of the land, and how the Domesday Book was an instrument of this oppression.
This is one of 45 videos telling the story of Britain from 1066 to the present day. Visit the full interactive timeline at
From a BAFTA winning series written and presented by Andrew Chater. Originally commissioned and transmitted by the BBC and streamed with the BBC's consent. Copyright Andrew Chater / Lodestar Productions.
His memory is perpetuated by those who in, frankly a romantic fantasy wish that the Norman Conquest never happened. If you have ever read the writings of the English Orthodox priest, Father Andrew Phillips, you will know what I mean! The reality is the Norman Conquest did happen and Orthodox fantasising about undoing that legacy is absurd. Britain will only become Orthodox again when she builds something beautiful out of the whole of her history and into the present. We cannot live as if the second millennium never took place!