The Normans

The Battle of Hastings

by Mandy Barrow

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Where did William fight Harold for the English Throne?

Harold and William's armies met on Senlac Hill*, seven miles (10 km) from Hastings.(Today the village where the battle took place is simply called Battle.)


The photographs above show Harold on the left and William on the right

Harold set up his defence at the top of Senlac Hill. This gave him an advantage over William as the Normans would have to fight up a hill wearing heavy chain mail armour. The Normans ran up hill whilst the English hurled axes and other objects down at them.

* November 2009 - New Site identified for 1066 Battle of Hastings
A new site for the Battle of Hastings has been identified by the historian and amateur archaeologist Nick Austin, two miles nearer the port of Hastings at

Crowhurst is a small village equidistant between Battle and Hastings. It's name is most likely to have come from the Anglo Saxon word 'Crohha hyrst' (muddy wooded hill). Crowhurst was known as Croghyrste in 772 and Croherst in the Domesday book of 1086 .

The manor at Crowhurst was owned by King Harold, and was completely destroyed by the Normans during the time of the battle of Hastings.

The site for the 1066 Battle of Hastings at Crowhurst, has been confirmed by the the discovery of a crossbow where Harold made his last stand and by analysis of "wasted" manor data in the Domesday Book.

"No archaeology has ever been found at Battle Abbey to support a battlefield location. it is clear to me that this is because the Battle of Hastings was not at Battle, but in what was then the Hastings locality of Crowhurst. That is why it became known as the Battle of Hastings". Nick Austin

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What is the name of the famous battle between William and Harold?

The Battle of Hastings.

What date did the Battle of Hastings take place on?

It began at about nine o'clock on the 14th October 1066 and lasted most of the day.

The Saxons led by Harold

The English had a larger army consisting of the house-carles (body guard) of Harold and his allies, some other professional soldiers and a mass of peasants armed with pitchforks and slingshots.

The Normans led by William

On the Norman side were professional soldiers, many of them armoured knights on horseback.

(The Bayeux Tapestry pictures the weapons both sides used. See our Bayeux Tapestry pages for more information)


The Norman Invasion of England - introduction

Meet the four claimants to the English throne (includes family tree)

The battle of Stamford Bridge

Who was the leader of the Normans?

Who were the Normans? Houses, clothes, food

Where did William fight Harold for the English Throne?
The Battle of Hastings

What happened at the Battle of Hastings?

Who died with an arrow in his eye?

William becomes King - plus Domesday Book info

The Bayeux Tapestry - introduction

What is the Bayeux Tapestry about?

Questions and answers about the Bayeux Tapestry Part one

Questions and answers about the Bayeux Tapestry Part two

Horses | Armour | Shields | Helmets | Weapons

Other websites

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All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the author Mandy Barrow.

©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.