When King Edward was dying he said that Earl Harold should be the new King of England. Two other men wanted to be king. One was King of Norway. One was Duke William of Normandy. They both sent armies to England to fight Harold. The King of Norway was killed at a battle near York. Then Harold had to rush back with his army to fight William. William and his army had come from France and landed in Sussex. There was a battle at Hastings in 1066. Harold was killed when an arrow went into his eye and William became King of England.
William the Conqueror 1066
In France a tapestry picture was made of the story. It is the Bayeux Tapestry.
The Norman soldiers wore a coat of chain mail called a hauberk. It was a leather jacket with iron rings sewn on it. At the bottom was a slit so that he could easily ride. His cloth stockings had leather cross garters. They carried swords, battle axes and lances. Their shields were kite shaped and carried on the left arm. They had cone shaped helmets with a metal piece to protect the nose and face.
William was afraid the Saxons might give trouble, so he built castles outside the Saxon villages. Inside the fence on top of a mound there is a fence and in the fence the keep. All the first Norman castles were made of wood.
Later stone castles were made. They were very strong castles. They also had some very go (?) places in them. In the keep there was battlements, dormitories, great-hall, guards room, and dungeon.
After the Normans came towns grew bigger. Round each town was a thick wall and often a moat with a drawbridge. The town gates were locked every night. The houses were built close together and the streets were very narrow. People through all the rubbish into the streets so towns were very smelly.
Shops had no glass windows. They were just a front room of a house open to the street. Each shop had a sign outside to show what it sold.
William the second
He had a red head
One day to the forest
His huntsmen he led
A fellow called Tyrell
An arrow let loose
And William fell dead
As a Michaelmas goose
And nobody knows
If the fellow called Tyrell
Took William’s red head