Medieval Battles - Battle Of Hastings 1066 AD

Battle Date
14 October 1066

Battle Site
6 miles to the north west of Hastings. The site of Battle Abbey.

Battle Combatants
Normans, Bretons, Flemings, French, Poitevins, Angevins and Manceaux.

Battle Leaders
For the French: William of Normandy and Odo of Bayeux
For the English: Harold Godwinson

Reason For Battle
Norman invasion of England

Battle Timeframe
1 day

Battle Key Points
The English fought on foot and lacked cavalry. However they employed a very strong shield wall. When this was breached the Norman cavalry were able to defeat the English army.

The English broke the initial attack but foolishly pursued the Normans. Without the defence of the shield wall they were vulnerable to the Normans and were soon killed. Amongst the dead were Harold's brothers and with them went any hope of alternative leadership when Harold was killed.

Extra Notes
The English had rushed north to defeat a Viking army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge near York. Harold had chosen the position well and the Normans had to attack up hill.

You might also like to read our timeline of medieval battles in the 13th century