Stamford Bridge, Battle of 1066

THE BATTLE OF STAMFORD BRIDGE – VIKING INVASION

25th September 1066

SUMMARY

The forces of Harold Godwinson defeated the forces of Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson.

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BACKGROUND

In 1066 Edward the Confessor had died childless. Harold Godwinson had been crowned King but Harald Hardrada and William of Normandy both thought they should be King. Hardrada invaded north England in September 1066. The won a victory at the Battle of Fulford and took York but Harold was marching north to meet them.

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LOCATION

Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire, England

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THE ANGLO SAXONS

Led by
Harald Godwinson

Supported by
Earl Morcar of Mercia
Earl Edwin of Northumbria

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THE VIKINGS

Led by
Harald Hardrada

Supported by
Tostig Godwinson

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THE BATTLE

Harold Godwinson’s force surprised Harald Hardrada’s force at Stamford Bridge. However, they were unable to cross the bridge because it was defended by a large Norwegian warrior. The English sent a man under the bridge to stab the Norwegian from below. Once he was dead the Saxons crossed the bridge and cut down the Vikings. Both Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson were killed in the Battle.

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RESULT

Harold Godwinson had managed to save the North from invasion.

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CONSEQUENCE

In order to defeat the Vikings Harold had marched north leaving the south unprotected. While he was in the north William of Normandy invaded the south.

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