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1066 BATTLE OF HASTINGS
William Duke of Normandy sent up to 700 ships across the English Channel, landing his army at Pevensey on 28th September 1066. Meeting no resistance they camped overnight in the Roman fort at Anderida, and began planning their campaign to defeat King Harold of England. News of the invasion was soon carried to Harold, who was forced to act with great urgency having only just defeated the Norwegian king Harold Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (that's East Yorkshire, not at the home of Chelsea FC!). He ordered his weary and depleted troops to march south, and they averaged an incredible 40 miles a day on foot stopping only for a brief rest in London. By the evening of 13th October, the Saxons were encamped at Caldbec Hill, some 6 miles from Hastings.
Battle commenced the following morning on 14th October with circa 7000 men on each side, and in the afternoon Harold was struck in the eye by an arrow and later cut down and killed by Norman knights. The high altar of the Abbey church was sited on the spot, but today a stone is all that is left of the place where the last Saxon King of England fell. The Norman victory allowed William of Normandy to take the English throne and become King. This last successful invasion of England reshaped the country's destiny, by laying the foundations of the society, monarchy and nation that we know today.