KS2 History: The Anglo-Saxons. 7: 1066 - The year of three kings

The Anglo-Saxon dynasty ends on the battlefield in the year 1066.

Drama: 1066 - Year of the three kings

7. 1066 - Year of the three kings

When Edward the Confessor died in January 1066 there were three claimants to the throne of England: Harold, Earl of Wessex; Hardrada, King of Norway and William, Duke of Normandy. It is believed Edward had agreed that William should succeed him as king; it is also believed that he may have changed that decision in favour of Harold. Whatever the facts, Harold succession was confirmed by the witan on the day of Edward's burial.

Harold knew that he would face opposition. First he was attacked by Hardrada in the north, where Harold won a decisive victory at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Almost immediately he learned that William had invaded on the south coast and began the long march southwards.

The two armies met at the Battle of Hastings. Harold is defeated and killed, ending the Anglo-Saxon dynasty. A new dynasty, that of William I, 'William the Conqueror' - and the Normans begins...


Song: 'The end of the Anglo-Saxon dynasty' (Vocal)

More from this series

4. Beowulf - Part one
5. Beowulf - Part two
6. Beowulf - Part three