The Battle of Hastings was a battle between forces of the Anglo-Saxon king of England Harold II, and the troops of William, the duke of Normandy.
The battle was fought on a hill south of Hastings, a town in the south of England. Harold had about 7000 troops, while William had 10000. The battle was eventually won by William, he was crowned king William I 10 weeks later. The battle was a short time after William’s invasion of England, which he started because he claimed the English throne. William was the cousin of former English king Edward. Edward promised William the English throne during William’s visit in 1051.
However, when Edward was dying, he gave the throne to Harold, an important English noble.William wasn’t happy with this decision, because he believed he was the rightful heir to the English throne, therefore he planned an invasion. William gathered his highest officials, and gathered soldiers from all over France.
William got support from his allies in other parts of France, and was given soldiers by these allies. The pope also supported William. William built a large fleet to cross the English Channel. William and his ships left France on the 27th of September 1066, they landed in England the next morning.
Harold’s forces where staying near the town of Hastings, this is where the battle would eventually take place. William’s and Harold’s forces met near Hastings and went to battle, which lasted almost a day. The battle was won by William and his men, they stayed in Hastings a couple of days and went to London. There was a short battle in London, which resulted in the city being taken by William’s forces.
William was crowned the first Norman King of England on the 25th of December 1066, by the Bishop of York. William is shown in the picture on the right.The Bayeux tapestry was most likely made because of an order to do so by Bishop Odo of Bayeux. Odo was William’s half brother, and when his new cathedral was consecrated 1077, he had the tapestry made to celebrate both William’s victory, and the opening of his new cathedral.
Where the tapestry is made isn’t known, but one story says that it was made in Canterbury, a city known for making tapestries at that time. The tapestry is now a popular tourist attraction. The tapestry is often said to be ‘Norman Propaganda’ as it excuses William’s invasion of England, as if he had the right to do this. Even though some panels are less pro-norman, such as the one where woman and child have to leave their burning home.