How did William gain control of England?

1066 was a turning point in English history. A weak monarchy linked to Scandanavia was defeated by William, Duke of Normandy and from then on England was tied to mainstream Europe. The old England was destroyed, the nobles either killed in batle or dispossed and exiled to be replaced by Norman landowners. Norman England was characterised by the Feudal System, the building of castles and a strengthening of the Church. It took five or six years before the Normans gained control of England.

We will look to see why William was able to conquer England. Was his victory inevitable? Was he lucky or clever? How did he deal with the problem that he was a foreign invader in a land where people did not like him and did not want him? How was he able to gain control of the country? What can we learn from the evidence of the time -What does the Bayeux Tapestry and the Domesday Book tell us about the time?


Useful Websites and Links

Looks at claims of contenders, the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings, castles and revolts.Downloadable worksheets

Maps of battlefield, sounds of Saxons English and Norman French, pictures of soldiers, history of the Norman Conquest.

Goes through the key scenes of the Bayeux Tapestry

Highlights of the Bayeux tapestry with commentary on key scenes

Very detailed website, extensive coverage.

Battle of Hastings game, re-enact the Battle of Hastings.

Identify roots of words in common use in the English language.

Topics on all KS3 areas covered, use the index to find the right pages.


A man who does not respect his ancestors is worse than a wild animal. (An american indian saying)