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Within a generation or two of the conquest, the 15 to 20 per cent of English society who had been kept as slaves were liberated. On all kinds of levels, as a result of the replacement, complete replacement or almost complete replacement of one elite by another, England was changed forever. In fact, it may have been the biggest change that England has ever experienced.

10 facts about the Battle of Hastings

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Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. It is around 70 metres long and almost as old as the Battle of Hastings itself.


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That means it's a piece of fabric that is almost years old! The tapestry tells the story of a moment in time which changed the history of England changed forever. Test your knowledge of the Battle of Hastings with our quiz. Battle of the Somme: How WW1 changed warfare forever. Guide: The Battle of Waterloo. The young influencers earning millions. Climate change is damaging our oceans, new report says. Everything we know about Dancing On Ice Home Menu.

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What happened at the Battle of Hastings? Getty Images.


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A scene shows the fighting at the Battle of Hastings - one of the most important battles in English history. A new 50p coin which marks the th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. William of Normandy believed that he should have been King of England.

Invasions of England: Battle of Hastings

To remember the battle, people have recreated the journey that King Harold II and his army made, from York to Hastings. Some believe this embroidery shows King Harold II being killed by an arrow - although some historians are still debating if this might be a different soldier.

Battle of Hastings, 14 October 1066

We can still see evidence of the Romans, who were in England before the Anglo-Saxons - for example, this mosaic, which is in Sussex. History has recorded the event as happening at what is now Battle Abbey in the East Sussex town although some dispute the precise location. In reality, he probably died of wounds inflicted on the battlefield. The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio 'Song of the Battle of Hastings' says that a Saxon soldier broke ranks, and Taillefer killed him, while later sources say that Taillefer charged into the enemy shield-wall, where he killed several Saxons before he was overwhelmed.

The battle of Hastings

You can still see his alleged grave at the English Heritage-run site. The English we speak today is the product of a lot of intermingling with French words, making our language a lovely hybrid.

Saxon serfs bred the livestock, so cows, sheep, and pigs were slaughtered and served up to their Norman masters as beef, mutton, and pork respectively. No one called him William the Conqueror at the time.