Tag Archives: Edward the Confessor

Hastings: The Battle that Changed the Western Europe

Hastings: The Battle that Changed the Western Europe


The year 1066 is the most celebrated in English history. To every English schoolchild it evokes a Saxon hero, Harold, and a French villain, William, who met and fought at the battle of Hastings. The outcome was decided by an arrow in Harold’s eye. But history is seldom as commonly related. Harold, son of Godwin, was no Saxon and had no claim to the throne beyond Edward’s deathbed blessing. William was no Frenchman but descended from the Norse warrior Rollo, granted Normandy by the French king Charles the Simple in 911. He too had no claim beyond Edward’s apparent, but earlier, blessing. Both Harold and William were of the direct Viking descent.

Memorializing Edward the Confessor

Memorializing Edward the Confessor

An anonymous author in c. 1067 completed a Life of King Edward, commissioned by his widow Edith. The second part of that work describes events that demonstrate the king’s holiness and his miracle-inducing prowess. It was this section that was then worked up by Osbert de Clare, a Benedictine monk at Westminster Abbey, in his more explicitly hagiographical Life of Edward, which was finished by the late 1130s.

Tracing England’s First Castle

Tracing England’s First Castle

A British amateur historian has found what he believes to be England’s oldest castle – built by Norman adventurer 15 years before the battle of Hastings. Ground-breaking research by an expert on Herefordshire castles, Terry Wardle, strongly suggest that a mystery Norman castle mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the year 1051 was built in Herefordshire at a place now known as Burghill.