William the Conqueror was the Duke of Normandy, and the first Norman monarch of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087.
In October 1066, following the death of Edward the Confessor and believing he had claim to the throne, William invaded England, leading an army of Normans to victory at the Battle of Hastings, defeating the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson.
William’s coronation was monumental for England, ending more than 600 years of Anglo-Saxon rule and seeing its first Norman king. Norman rule in England would continue until 1154. It was also monumental for Normandy. From that point on, the duchy of Normandy was mostly held by kings of England until 1204 when it was captured by France.
Here are 5 of our top podcasts about William the Conqueror and the impact of the Norman Conquest.
Dr Marc Morris is an historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Middle Ages. He is the author of ‘William I: England’s Conqueror’.
On 14 October 1066, Norman invaders led by Duke William of Normandy won a decisive victory over the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson. But why did William have a claim on the English throne? How did the Battle of Hastings unfold? And how did William the Conqueror change England forever? To answer the big questions about this decisive battle, Rob Weinberg talks to Professor Virginia Davis, of Queen Mary University of London.
The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. It took place approximately 7 miles northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory.
The Norman conquest of England in 1066 was one of the great milestones of English history but there were in fact many Norman invasions and their influence reached from Northern Europe through the Mediterranean and into the Middle East and North Africa. They were a phenomenon emerging in the 10th century but had disappeared by the middle of the 13th century.
In this brief period though, their influence was massive – creating new kingdoms, re-shaping societies and leaving behind impressive architectural, linguistic and cultural influences. In this episode, Dan speaks to historian Trevor Rowley author of The Normans: The Conquest of Christendom about their origins, how and why they spread so far, what their legacy is and why their influence was so short-lived.
The Bayeux Tapestry is one of the world’s most prominent pieces of medieval art. Depicting the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England, the tapestry tells a story through detailed embroidery. But what can we learn about the Norman Conquest and the people being it through this skilful art?
In this episode, Matt is joined by David Musgrove, who helps us explore the lavish narrative behind the embroidery and the circumstances behind it. David Musgrove is the co-author of The Story of The Bayeux Tapestry: Unravelling the Norman Conquest, published by Thames and Hudson Ltd.