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[[File: Hastings One.jpg|
300px|thumbnail|left|The Bayeaux Tapestry of the Battle of Hastings]]
The Battle of Hastings (1066) is perhaps the most famous in Medieval Britain, if not Europe. This bloody day changed British history and had a profound impact on the development of the modern world. It led not only to a change of dynasty in England but also indirectly to the development of the English language, law, and political institutions, which have had an immense impact far beyond the British Isles.
==Why did the Normans Invade Britain? ==
[[File: Hastings 2.jpg |200px|
thumb|left|A scene from the Bayeux tapestry showing Norman knights charging the shield-wall]]
The background to Hastings was the death of Edward the Confessor, king of England from 1042-1066. He died without an heir, and this, as usual in the Middle Ages, led to a succession crisis.<ref> Lawson, M. K. The Battle of Hastings: 1066 (Stroud, UK: Tempus, 2002), p 12</ref> There were two main contenders for the crown of England; Harold Godwinson, a member of one of the most powerful Anglo-Saxon families and Duke William of Normandy, the future William the Conqueror.
== Did the death of Harold changed the tide of battle? ==
[[File: Hastings 3.jpg|200px|
thumb|left| A 14th-century manuscript drawing of the coronation of Harold Godwinson]]
In many modern accounts, the Battle of Hastings was closely fought, and as long as the Anglo-Saxons shield-wall held, they were able to repel the Normans. It is widely reported that the death of Harold changed the tide of battle. Until his death, the battle was headed to a bloody stalemate. The sudden death of the king of England changed the course of the clash and probably altered English and global history.