History Biography Geography Science Games

Middle Ages

Norman Conquest

History >> Middle Ages for Kids

Who were the Normans?

The Normans were Vikings who had settled along the coast of France. The local people called them the Norsemen from Norway. They eventually became known as the Normans and the land they lived in became known as Normandy. Through a truce with the King of France, Normandy became a Duchy of France and their leader was called the Duke of Normandy.

The Three Kings

In 1066 the King of England, Edward the Confessor, died. Unfortunately, Edward did not have any children and there wasn't a logical choice for the next king of England. Three men all claimed to be the rightful heir to the crown for different reasons. King Harold II

The first of the three men to act was Earl Harold Godwinson. He was the obvious choice for the English nobles and they crowned him King Harold II immediately after the death of King Edward. However, neither King Hardrada nor William of Normandy were going to let Harold have the crown without a fight.

Norway Invades (Battle of Stamford Bridge)

King Hardrada of Norway gathered his forces and invaded England from the north in September of 1066. The English marshaled their own army and King Harold II met the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 1066. The fighting was fierce with both sides losing over 5,000 soldiers. However, King Harold II came out victorious. He defeated the Norwegians and King Hardrada was killed in the battle.

The Normans Invade (Battle of Hastings)

Harold and the English had little time to celebrate their victory as William of Normandy led his army across the English Channel only a few days after the Battle of Stamford. He set up his army at the city of Hastings, where he built a wooden castle.

King Harold marched his army south to meet the Normans. The two forces met at the top of Senlac Hill on October 14, 1066. The two sides fought all day. Both sides had about the same number of soldiers, but William had the advantage of having more archers and cavalry. Eventually William's army won the battle when King Harold was killed by an arrow.

William Crowned King

William continued to march towards London. The English were still resisting his rule. They even elected another man, Edgar, as king. William would not be denied, however. He fought and won a few more battles along the way and reached London in late December. The English leaders finally admitted defeat and crowned William King of England on December 25, 1066.


Norman rule had a lasting effect in England. Many English nobles left the country fleeing to Ireland, Scotland, and the Scandinavian countries. The Normans instituted many new laws and brought the French culture with them.

William instituted the Domesday book which kept track of who owned what areas of land. Whatever was written in the book was final. There were no appeals. William used the book in order to tax the people.

William also built many castles and cathedrals throughout England. These included Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, Colchester Castle, and the Rochester Cathedral.

Interesting Facts about the Norman Conquest Activities

More subjects on the Middle Ages:

Feudal System
Medieval Monasteries
Glossary and Terms

Knights and Castles
Becoming a Knight
History of Knights
Knight's Armor and Weapons
Knight's coat of arms
Tournaments, Jousts, and Chivalry

Daily Life in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Art and Literature
The Catholic Church and Cathedrals
Entertainment and Music
The King's Court

Major Events
The Black Death
The Crusades
Hundred Years War
Magna Carta
Norman Conquest of 1066
Reconquista of Spain
Wars of the Roses

Byzantine Empire
The Franks
Kievan Rus
Vikings for kids

Alfred the Great
Genghis Khan
Joan of Arc
Justinian I
Marco Polo
Saint Francis of Assisi
William the Conqueror
Famous Queens

Works Cited

History >> Middle Ages for Kids

Ducksters Footer Gif with Ducks

About Ducksters Privacy Policy 


This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.