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William and a handful of barons then imposed one of the most brutal governments this country has ever seen. Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain 1066 A.D. - 1350 A.D. Channel 4 2003
A mania for building massive stone structures. ibid.
Feudalism was the key to Norman success. ibid.
Peasants in England were standing up for themselves. ibid.
The Black Death had arrived and within three years it would wipe out half of the population. ibid.
The most famous date in the history of Britain: 1066. England in 1066 was a good place to live by the standards of the day. Michael Wood, The Great British Story: A People’s History 3/8: The Norman Yoke, BBC 2012
From the start luck was against the English. ibid.
The Norman yoke – the loss of English liberties. ibid.
Domesday reveals that England in 1086 had two million people. ibid.
The Anglo-Saxons lived under a kind of apartheid. ibid.
The Barons forced King John to agree to limit his own power. ibid.
When the Normans took over they set about remaking much of Anglo-Saxon culture into their own. However, some remnants of the old Anglo-Saxon world endure this Norman cultural onslaught. Dr Janina Ramirez, Treasures of the Anglo Saxons, BBC 2010
The Normans were descendants of Viking raiders but had long since traded in their longboats for powerful warhorses, and the Duchy of Normandy was in no sense just a piece of France. Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Conquest, BBC 2000
Finally the foot-soldiers breaking into a run behind. And then there was just the murderous smashing and crashing of horses, the slicing and thrusting of weapons, screams, cries of the wounded and dying. ibid.
William was crowned at Westminster, Christmas Day 1066. ibid.
Over 150,000 people die or flee their homes. Alongside murder comes the devastation of Anglo-Saxon lands ... William destroys all resistance. The British II: People Power
A network of castles appears across the land. ibid.
Matilda: the first woman to make a claim to the English throne in her own right. Dr Helen Castor, She Wolves: England’s Early Queens I, BBC 2012
A handful of extraordinary women did attempt to rule medieval and Tudor England. ibid.
Matilda was the daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror. ibid.
There was nothing explicit to say a woman couldn’t wear the crown. ibid.
Matilda might have given up on her marriage but her father hadn’t. ibid.
In 1135 ... Matilda stayed in Anjou with Geoffrey. ibid.
As soon as the news of her father’s death reached her Matilda made her first move to become queen. ibid.
While Matilda hesitated it was her cousin Stephen who seized the moment. Stephen was a powerful man and an effective soldier. ibid.
Stephen’s masterstroke was his speedily arranged coronation. ibid.
Normandy had collapsed into anarchy and so had Stephen’s army. ibid.
All Matilda’s hopes of being crowned queen were trampled into the dirt along with the feast she had left behind. But things were about to get still worse. ibid.
If the she-wolf couldn’t wear the crown, her cub would. ibid.
Eleanor wasn’t typical in anything she did. ibid.
Eleanor made a particularly powerful match – her new husband was heir to the French throne. And within days of the wedding the old king died. Now at the age of only thirteen Eleanor was Queen of France. Wife of King Louis VII. ibid.
Louis and Eleanor had decided to go on Crusade. ibid.
In 1168 Eleanor went to govern the Dutch [Aquitaine] in her husband’s name. ibid.
Eleanor never had a claim to be a monarch in her own right but her children did. ibid.
She rebelled against her husband. ibid.
She was captured on the road by her husband’s forces. ibid.
Richard sent word that his mother should have the power of doing whatever she wished in the kingdom. ibid.
It was Eleanor who secured the succession of her youngest son John. ibid.
Age and exhaustion caught up with Eleanor. ibid.
The Norman King Henry II would now be wooed by Diarmaid mac Murchadha. (Ireland & Henry II & Norman) Fergal Keane, The Story of Ireland 2/5, BBC 2011
The invaders hacked and cleaved their way through the Irish. ibid.
Over the next fifty years the Anglo-Normans established power bases in the main population centres. ibid.
Britain is full of magnificent examples of architectural and engineering genius. And it stands testimony to the men who actually constructed it all and of course the architects and engineers who designed it. Fred Dibnah’s Building of Britain e1: Mighty Cathedrals, BBC 2002
Believe it or not this is a cathedral – this is the Saxon cathedral of St Peter’s ... It’s the only Saxon cathedral in the country that survives intact. It isn’t very big, it is? ibid.
After the Conquest the Normans began to build on a scale that had never been seen before. ibid.
The Normans didn’t want to leave anyone doubt down here on Earth who was in charge. ibid.
The Normans build with semi-circular or round arches just like the Romans used to build ... It saved material; it also looked very attractive and it let lots of light flood in from the side. ibid.
The rib-vaulting was of course a new invention. And very strong. ibid.
The Normans improved their techniques and moved on from the round arch to the pointed Gothic version. ibid.
Castles: they dominate our landscape, tower over our history and fuel our imagination. Sam Willis, Castles: Britain's Fortified History I, Instruments of Invasion, BBC 2014
The ultimate expression of military might. ibid.
Our story begins with the arrival of the castle with the Normans in 1066. A weapon of invasion. ibid.
A ‘motte-and-bailey’ is the most basic castle design, a moat surrounded by a walled enclosure – the bailey. ibid.
These stone castles were utterly alien. ibid.
Every landowner in the realm was required to swear an oath to the king ... the Oath of Serum. ibid.
That man was Stephen – what followed was a protracted civil war ... One of the bleakest periods in our history. ibid.
At 172 days the siege of Kennilworth was the longest to take place on English soil. ibid.
If the Normans are disciplined under a just and firm rule they are men of great valour who ... fight resolutely to overcome all enemies. But without such rule they tear each other to pieces and destroy themselves, for they hanker after rebellion, cherish sedition, and are ready for any treachery. William I, attributed deathbed speech
The English at that time wore short garments, reaching to the mid-knee; they had their hair cropped, their beads shaven, their arms laden with golden bracelets, their skin adorned with punctured designs; they were accustomed to eat until they became surfeited, and to drink till they were sick. These latter qualities they imparted to their conquerors. William of Malmesbury, De Gestis Regum Anglorum
The Normans are a race unused to war, and can hardly live without it, fierce in rushing against the enemy, and, where force fails to success, ready to use stratagem, or corrupt by bribery. ibid.
William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings has given us England’s most famous date: 1066. But this wasn’t just a battle, it was a momentous turning point in European history. In the years that followed, the Normans transformed England, and then the rest of Britain and Ireland ... across Europe, from northern France to southern Italy and on to the Middle East and Jerusalem. Professor Robert Bartlett, The Normans I 2010
A forest of masts lit up with burning torches slipped across the Channel. ibid.