Battle of Hastings

14 October 1066

The Battle of Hastings was the decisive Norman victory in the Norman Conquest of England. It was fought between the Norman army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army of King Harold II. The battle took place on October 14 1066 at Senlac Hill, approximately 6 miles northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex. The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events before and during the battle.

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    King Harold II of England is killed by William the Conqueror by an arrow in the eye during the battle of Hastings, 1066. Illumintated manuscript; 13th century.


    Edward the Confessor sends Harold to inform Duke William of Normandy that he will succeed to the throne of England. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery, most probably the work of Saxon craftsmen; the tapestry was ordered shortly after the conquest in 1066 by Odon de Conteville, Duke of Kent and Bishop of Bayeux, brother of William.

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    Harold's embarkation for Normandy. Bayeux Tapestry ordered shortly after the Conquest in 1066 by William the Conqueror's half-brother Odon de Conteville.

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    King Harold II embarks for Normandy, his falcon on his wrist. Close-up of 31-01-01/2 Bayeux tapestry, embroidery (11th)

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    The English landing in Normandy; King Harold II stands in the foremost shipbow. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).

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    Close up of King Harold II on horseback, his falcon on his wrist. He is shown either as a prisoner or guest of Count Guy de Ponthieu in Beaurain Castle around 1064. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).

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    Ploughmen with horse-drawn plough in lower border of the tapestry, where daily life continues as kings and aristocracy battle in the center strip. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).

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    Farmers sowing in lower border of tapestry, where daily life goes on as kings and aristocracy battle in the center strip (11th). Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery.

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    William, Duke of Normandy, sends messengers to the Count on Ponthieu with orders for his release. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).

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    Duke William of Normandy gives orders to his messengers to Guy de Ponthieu. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).

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    Official negotiations between William, Duke of Normandy, and King Harold II. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Duke William's daughter Aelfgyve is promised in marriage to King Harold II. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Harold and Duke William of Normandy cross the quicksands of the Couesnon River near Mont Saint-Michel. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Duke Conan flees down a rope as the Norman army approaches. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    The Duke of Brittany surrenders and, on the tip of his lance, passes the keys of his town of Dinan to William, Duke of Normandy. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Harold swears fealty to William, Duke of Normandy. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Watchmen on the English coast look out for Harold's return. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Harold reports his mission in Normandy to Edward the Confessor. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    King Edward the Confessor with crown and mantle. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Death of Edward the Confessor. Bayeux tapestry, embroidery (11th)


    The coronation of Harold II; he receives orb and sceptre. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    The coronation of Harold II; he receives orb and sceptre. Detail of 31-01-01/20 Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


    Astrologers announce the appearance of a comet (Halley's Comet), which portends misfortune for King Harold II.


    Chopping trees for the construction of the Norman fleet. Bayeux Tapestry, embroidery (11th).


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