Site of the Battle of Hastings: A landmark event which transformed England

Battle of Hastings Site

Battle of Hastings Site

This evening, I am posting information on the famous Battle of Hastings which took place in southern England on October 14th 1066.

Hastings is located on the south coast of England,about 72 miles S.E. of London.

Today, the ruins of Battle Abbey occupy the hilltop ridge where King Harold’s English army were marshalled on a east-west line at commencement of the battle facing Duke William’s Norman (French) army across the valley to the south.

Information on the actual battle is obtained from two contemporary sources, the Bayeux Tapestry and William of Poitiers ( 1020-90). Having lost the element of surprise, the English held their shield wall position along the ridge but over nine hours the ebb and flow of fighting progressively weakened the English and after Harold had been shot in the eye and killed it was evident the Normans had prevailed.

After the battle, William was crowned King in Westminster Abbey, London and a new royal line established. Thereafter, Norman French became the language of government and William established a chain of castles to control his new domain.

To mark the victory, William established a great Benedictine abbey on the northern part of the battlefield.

Outcome of the Norman invasion was a transformation of the social structure (entailing establishment of a rigid, feudal system elements of which persist today) and introduction of about 30,000 French/Latin words into the English language.

The image below shows  the spot where King Harold is believed to have died.

King Harold Memorial at Battle Abbey

King Harold Memorial at Battle Abbey

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