Most historians agree that 'The Norman Conquest' is the most important event in the history of England. The book 1066 and All That (1930), written by Sellar and Yeatman, jokes that 1066 is the only date everybody could remember.
The debate about the Norman Conquest has always essentially been about whether it was a good or bad thing.
Even at the time, Anglo-Saxon writers saw it as a disaster and a punishment. The Norman chroniclers, by contrast, portrayed it as a glorious victory by the great and godly Normans.
In the 1800s, the great historian EA Freeman saw Harold II as an English nationalist, fighting for our freedom. His rival JH Round portrayed the English as corrupt and out-of-date, and William as the king who brought modern, European ways to England.
The most famous source is the Bayeux Tapestry. It shows the events before, during, and after, the Norman Conquest, embroidered into a piece of cloth.
Find a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry and use it to identify some of the scenes mentioned above.
Generally, popular culture has supported the Saxons. Even recently, the Channel 4 docu-drama Battle for Middle Earth (2009) portrayed the Conquest as the struggle of plucky English underdogs against the nasty Normans.
However the BBC series The Normans (2010) stressed how the Normans were great builders, brilliant warriors and tip-top administrators who changed the world.
What is your interpretation of the Norman Conquest?