The Norman Conquest of 1066 CE


Mark Cartwright
published on 30 January 2019

The Norman Conquest entirely changed the history of England from 1066 CE onwards. After Harold II's defeat and death at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 CE, William the Conqueror was made the new king, the Norman elite completely replaced the old Anglo-Saxons barons, castles were built everywhere, and the two countries of England and France would be linked together in a love-hate relationship that lasts to this day. In this collection of resources, we look at the big battles, William's five-year struggle to put down rebellions from Exeter to York, and the many lasting political and social consequences. We also look at two of the greatest surviving windows into medieval Europe, the Bayeux Tapestry and Domesday Book.

Domesday Book is a treasure trove of information for historians and reveals much about 11th-century CE England. Studies of its figures reveal, amongst many others, such insights as:

  • the names of 13,000 villages
  • that 90% of the population then lived in the countryside
  • that 75% of the population were serfs
  • that many English lords had to buy back their lands from William after the conquest.



Questions & Answers

What happened in 1066 and why is it important?

1066 is important because that year the Norman duke William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo-Saxon king Harold II and so the Normans took over Britain, a process often called the Norman Conquest.

What were the main events of the Norman Conquest?

The main events of the Norman Conquest were: Defeat of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in October 1066, the capture of London in November 1066, William the Conqueror being crowned William I of England on 25 December 1066, and William's harrying of the north of England from November 1069 to March 1070. In June 1071, William defeated the last rebellion at Ely.

What did the Norman Conquest in 1066 have the greatest influence on?

The 1066 Norman Conquest influenced life in Britain in many ways. There was a new king in William I and a new ruling class, the Normans. New types of castles were built and a new record of landownership was compiled, the Domesday Book. Finally, a territorial link was made between England and parts of Norman-controlled France
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About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark is a full-time writer, researcher, historian, and editor. Special interests include art, architecture, and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the WHE Publishing Director.

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