~ the battle for England between Stephen of Blois and Matilda The Empress ~


• Image Gallery

1. Scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry

King Harold is shown on horseback prior to the battle as depicted in the 11th century embroidery now known as the Bayeux Tapestry. Although he fought on foot, he is shown here mounted, armed, and armoured exactly like the Norman knights, and is differentiated from them only by his moustache.

Norman knights armed with swords and light spears held over arm for throwing, together their familiar kite shaped shields, attack Harold's infantry. The English are similarly armed but also shown wielding battleaxes.

Detail from the tapestry showing William's half brother, Bishop Odo, on the extreme left and Duke William on the right raising his helmet by its nasal to dispel rumours of his death.

2. Images of the Kings of England 1066-1154

The Last Saxon King: Coin of King Harold

The four Norman Kings of England represented as patrons of the Church - each is holding a model of a church he founded.

King Stephen from a contemporary manuscript, and Matilda, The Empress, from a 15th century manuscript written by the monks of St Albans.

Norman coins struck during the reign of King Stephen:
• The top left: shows King Stephen holding a sceptre
• Top right: shows his elder son Eustace, who was appointed Governor of York and permitted to strike coins there
• Left middle: depicts Stephen with his wife Matilda of Boulogne
• Middle right: shows Robert of Gloucester, illegitimate son of Henry I and chief commander of his half sister Matilda
• Bottom: a silver penny of Matilda, The Empress

King Stephen

3. Norman Architecture

A view of White Tower, within the Tower of London complex of buildings.

Window detail - On the south face of White Tower are 4 original windows from the Norman period. (restored)

The Chapel of St John the Evangelist in White Tower, London