The Bayeux Tapestry is a medieval embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, which was part of the inventory of Bayeux Cathedral. The Bayeux Tapestry shows Edward the Confessor, King of England since 1042, talking to his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex in the Royal Palace of Westminster. Harold then heads off for Bosham in Sussex, his family estate. Duke William of Normandy crosses a river with Mont Saint Michel in the background. He attacks castles in Brittany. William presents Harold with the implements of War:
HIC: WILLELM: DEDIT: HAROLDO: ARMA
William and Harold ride with soldiers to Williams's palace at Rouen. William crosses the English Channel by boat.
William sets out from Hastings ahead of the battle, with his Norman cavalry moving out to face King Harold's English soldiers. The knights wear chain mail hauberks and conical helmets. The initial "strategy" was to prepare at the base of the hill, which they did for an unspecified period of time, following which they charged up the hill (taking away the advantage of speed from the cavalry). William enjoyed good fortune as his plan of attack, supported by archers, eventually worked. It is thought by military historians that he intended the classic cavalry tactic of feigned retreat: two withdrawals late in the day, caused the English to be lured away from their protected position, following which William turned and routed them; and having won the battle, William having earned himself the title "Conqueror", marched to London, along the newly opened road.
The Duke William's army needed a supply of horses for the use of his cavalry. These were brought over by boat from Normandy.
- Tapestry images include nearly 200 horses, 35 dogs, and more than 500 other animals and birds, many of which are a part of Anglo-Saxon heritage.
- The shields of the Normans have a dragon emblem and their mounted knights carry spears. The kite shields provided provided valuable defence, while the spears provided a means of attacking their opponents (e.g. by throwing in their direction).
- The dragon device is on a standard close to Harold as he falls to the ground.
- 20 March 1066 - Perihelion of Halley's Comet. William is supposed to have remarked to his courtiers, "A comet like this is only seen when a kingdom wants a king".
- 14 October 1066 - Battle of Hastings.
- Christmas Day 1066 - Coronation of King William I at Westminster Abbey.