The Norman kings consolidate their hold on Britain

tower of london
bayeaux tapestry The Bayeaux tapestry shows how the military might of the Normans defeated Harolds exhausted army. Once established as king, William I continued in the vein of might being right
The Tower of London was built with the express aim of showing the inhabitants of London who was in charge now. William continued with a demonic round of castle building across the whole country. The uniqueness of the Norman conquest in British history is that not only did the ruler change, but also the whole of the ruling class changes, and there was even a new language. The English nobility lost their lands, and the new landowners built castles like Warwick and Windsor that survive to this day. By the time William died in 1087 around 100 major castles had been built norman england
norman castles The other major legacy of William's reign is the Domesday Book. William wished to know the existing and potential value of his new kingdom. Surveyors were sent out across the whole country and their report was the massive Domesday Book which noted land down to individual landholdings    
The other Norman Kings, William II, Stephen, Henry I and Henry II were no pussycats, but they had little efffect on posterity until Henry II ascended to the throne in 1154
Remember that William I had been duke of Normandy as well as King of England (map left). Henry II expanded this empire, as he wasDuke of Aquitaine (right) though his wife's title. England was there a major player on Continental Europe, and continued to hold parts of France for 500 years until Calais was finally lost in 1558
kings of normandy
Henry II is known for his ordering the murder of the Archbishop Of Cantabury, Thomas Becket, in Cantabury Cathedral - stabbed at the high alter in 1170. (shown in the medieval manuscript on the right. It did not do to cross the king
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