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18 September 2014
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Norman Conquest: Go Further


William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact upon England by David Douglas (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1964). The classic biography.

The Last English King by Julian Rathbone (Little Brown, 1997). A racy recent novel. Great fun!

The English and the Norman Conquest by A Williams (The Boydell Press, 1995). A new look at the defeated.

Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England by Michael Wood (BBC Books, 1999). About continuities in the landscape.

In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood (BBC Books, 2001). Includes a short biography of William the Conqueror.

In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past by Michael Wood (Penguin Books, 2000). Contains material that builds on the articles in this trail.


Essential Norman Conquest: Contains a timeline which you can click on to find out what was happening at that particular point in 1066. Offers a full, scrollable version of the Tapestry.

The Bayeux Tapestry: A useful site containing a full likeness of the tapestry as well as a translation of the Latin text that appears on it.

The Battle of Hastings: Useful context on the Battle of Hastings and links to a site displaying the Tapestry in its entirety.

The Reading Bayeux Tapestry: Reading Museum and Art Gallery houses a complete replica of the tapestry. The site features images of the Tapestry, recounts the story it tells and also contains a history of this famous piece of embroidery.

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Places to Visit

Norman castles: For examples of small motte and bailey castles try: Pleshey, Essex, and Berkhamsted Bucks; and for big ones: White Tower, Tower of London; Rochester, Colchester; and the dramatic keep at Castle Rising, Norfolk. There is a reconstructed motte and bailey castle at Mountfitchet Castle. This is at Stanstead, Essex.

Norman buildings: A grand Norman royal hall, soaked in English history, survives at Westminster Hall; there are Norman merchants houses in several cities, especially in Lincoln, and a terrific intact manor house at Boothby Pagnell (Lincolnshire).

Norman churches: My favourite three of all time are: Iffley, near Oxford (small and exquisite); Southwell, Nottinghamshire (medium-sized and totally magnificent); and Lincoln Minster (gigantic and wonderful, especially with the newly restored West Front).

Published: 09-11-2004

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