By Dave MacLeod
Last updated 2011-02-17
While the average English person would claim to know quite a lot about 1066, their knowledge is not often based on historical fact. The source of most of their information is the Bayeux Tapestry, that colourful depiction of how William the Conqueror invaded England with his Norman army in 1066.
But the tapestry is not a docile, dead depiction - it's alive with controversy and myth, providing us with a classic example of the old adage that history is written by the victors.
The tapestry is probably the most important pictorial image of the 11th century. Arguably it is one of the most important pieces of medieval art from any century. A work of enormous skill, it has priceless value as a piece of art in itself, and it is also an important source - a vital piece of historical evidence - for a key moment in Britain's national past. This does not, however, mean that its version of events is an entirely accurate one.
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