The Norman Conquest of England began in 1066 with the invasion of the Kingdom of England by the troops of William, Duke of Normandy, and his victory at the Battle of Hastings. This resulted in Norman control of England, which was firmly established during the next few years.
This was a pivotal event in English history for several reasons. It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy and clerical hierarchy. This, in turn, brought about a transformation of the English language and the culture of England.
By subjecting the country to rulers originating in France, it linked England more closely with continental Europe, while lessening Scandinavian influence, and set the stage for rivalry with France that would continue intermittently for many centuries. It also had important consequences for the rest of the British Isles, paving the way for further Norman conquests in Wales and Ireland, and extensive penetration of the aristocracy of Scotland by Norman and other French speaking families, with the accompanying spread of continental institutions and cultural influences.
John Horsfield has prepared a course that will be held throughout 2010 which looks at the events leading up to the invasion, life in Norman England and Norman architecture. To enroll for this course email firstname.lastname@example.org