The Battle of Stamford Bridge

The Battle of Stamford Bridge

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  • Harold Godwineson has been crowned king but now is being threatened with invasion from both the Normans from the South and the Vikings from the North
  • North or South????
  • On the 20th September 1066...
  • Not long afterwards, Harald Hardraada invaded from the North with a fleet of 500 ships...
  • I have extra support from Harold's enemy brother the Earl Tosti - we cannot fail!
  • On the 20th September 1066... Harold heard about the invasion...
  • Harold Godwineson had moved his army back home to London because he couldn't afford to feed the soldiers while he was waiting for the Normans to invade
  • Hey! How the English get here so quickly? We are not ready for battle - I only have half my soldiers and no-one is in battle gear.
  • On the 25th of September 1066, Harold Godwineson's army attacked the Vikings.
  • Harald Hardraada had sailed his fleet to the mouth of the River Tyne. Earl Tosti (Harold's exiled brother) decided to join forces with Hardraada. They took over the city of York and beat some English at Gate Fulford.
  • Harold quickly gathered an army of 6,000 men and travelled 200 miles in 4 days and sealed off the town Tadcaster. They arrived on 24th. They didn't want any messages to get to Hardraada so they could make a surprise attack! 
  • Oh no! Great timing Duke of Normandy! Men, we have to defend the South. Come on men, the English are relying on you! 
  • The Norwegians were not ready for battle - some of the Vikings had gone to look after their ships so Hardraada only had half an army and many of soldiers had taken off their battle clothes. 
  • The English and the Norwegians had a bloody and violent battle at Stamford Bridge that lasted 4 hours. Eventually Hardraada was killed with an arrow to his throat. Tosti took over but he was killed too. It was a great victory for Harold Godwineson but he had lost some of his best flighting men and his army were exhausted and injured.
  • A few days later at a victory feast Harold heard the terrible news that William of Normandy had invaded on the Sussex coast. Now he had to return to the South to face his biggest challenge yet!
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