Top 5 Facts: Battle of Hastings


Today Battle Abbey stands on the location of the famous battle and is maintained by English Heritage. A plaque marks the place where Harold is believed to have been killed.


A large part of Harold’s army at the Battle of Hastings consisted of fyrdmen, untrained peasants drafted in a similar way as conscripts to protect their homeland.


According to historical reports, the first man to be killed at the battle was William’s jester Taillefer, who after singing and juggling a sword, attacked the English shield wall and was killed.


The Battle of Hastings is the first conflict where crossbows are recorded to have been used in English history. The crossbow originated in East Asia in the 4th century BCE.


William was crowned king on Christmas day 1066 at Westminster Abbey. He deposed Harold’s successor Edgar the Atheling who proceeded to wage many unsuccessful uprisings.