Published on October 14th, 2016 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw0
1066: The Date that Made History
1066 is a date that dominates the history books, still taught in the classrooms, and familiar even to people who may not know the whole story. Even though The Battle of Hastings may have been fought almost a millennium ago, the legacy of William the Conqueror’s victory surrounds us still now.
Today celebrates 950 years since the English King Harold was defeated by the invading William the Conqueror, whose subsequent rule led to much of the infrastructure we know now.
The Battle of Hastings was a pivotal moment that altered the course of British history. This epic clash fought between two Kings and their men on English soil ended in defeat for King Harold and a new rule for England under “William the Conqueror”.
How the Battle of Hastings Changed Britain
The Norman King brought about huge social advancement that set the foundations for the nation.
Architecture: Under King William’s command, castles and stone buildings replaced the wooden dwellings Britons had once used. These permanent buildings were built in the Norman style and some still exist today such as the White Tower at the Tower of London.
Law: William the Conqueror’s rule led to much of the infrastructure that we know today and laws punishing crimes such as murder were introduced following the invasion.
Taxes: The Domesday Book is an ancient record of the survey ordered by King William. The book details where people lived and what assets they had and most importantly was used to set the taxes that were paid to the King.
The Battle of Hastings 50p Coin
To celebrate this remarkable key event in history, there has been a Battle of Hastings Brilliant Uncirculated 50p Coin designed which shows the pivotal moment when King Harold was struck through the eye with an arrow, and displays the year around the image of 1066.
The Bayeux Tapestry is a remarkable piece of art in its own right. This historical record of the battle tells a detailed story, but one that we should perhaps consider carefully. With only a few English survivors of the battle, the tapestry is a Norman account of events.
The tapestry in Normandy, France reveals many hidden tales connected with the battle and the events leading up to it. A replica is held in the museum in Reading, and people visit both to explore the intriguing story. Researchers have for years been studying the tapestry to look and understand the meaning behind the hidden elements but so far little has been revealed.
Bayeux Tapestry Facts
- The Bayeux Tapestry is 70m long and 50cm tall. Although it is known as a tapestry, it is in fact an embroidery, as it is stitched not woven. Two stitches, the laid/couching work and stem stitch are embroidered in woollen yarns on linen.
- It includes fifty scenes with 623 people, 202 horse, 55 dogs, 506 birds and other animals, 49 trees, 41 ships and 37 buildings. Only three women are included. They are believed to be, Edith, the wife of Edward the Confessor and King Harold’s sister, a fleeing woman shown trapped inside, or fleeing from a burning building and “The Mysterious Lady” known as Aelfgyva.
- 57 Latin inscriptions (tituli), are included, containing nearly 2,000 letters. These inscriptions can be seen in the central zone of the tapestry and occasionally in the top border.
- The upper and lower borders of the tapestry show mythological creatures, lions, dragons, farming, hunting and scenes from Aesop’s fables. It is believed that English embroiders used these scenes of deceit and unlawful possession to show their opposition to the Norman invasion of Britain.
Other significant historical events have also been commemorated in the extensive range of Collectibles available from the Post Office Shop. Included is the range marking the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.