History on the Net Banner

 Users Online


 

The Normans - Harald Hardrada & Stamford Bridge

 

Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, like William of Normandy, believed that the English throne should be his, not Harold Godwineson's.

 

Background to Hardrada's claim:

Edward the Confessor, who had died childless in January 1066, had seized the English throne back from the Norwegian Harthacnut in 1042. Harthacnut was the son of the Viking King Cnut who had ruled England from 1016 - 1035. 

 Hardrada claimed that Harthacnut had promised the English throne to King Magnus of Norway. Magnus was an old King and had chosen not fight Edward the Confessor for the throne. 

Harald Hardrada succeeded King Magnus to the throne of Norway and when Edward the Confessor died he decided to take the English throne for himself.

Hardrada began planning his invasion.

 

Stamford Bridge

September 20th 1066 - Battle of Fulford

Harald Hardrada, with a fleet of more than 300 ships, and the support of Harold Godwineson's brother Tostig, sailed up the river Humber and landed just south of York.

Two powerful Earls in the north, Edwin and Morcar, hurriedly mustered an army. 

They were heavily beaten by the invaders.

 


Harold Godwineson's Problem

Harold Godwineson knew that if Hardrada were to be defeated he had to take his army north to fight him off.

However, Harold was also aware that William of Normandy's invasion force was ready and would sail as soon as the wind changed. If he marched north he would have to leave the south coast unprotected and his army would be forced to march hundreds of miles north, fight a battle, then march back to the south coast and the possibility of another battle.

 

Stamford Bridge Map

 

25th September 1066 - Battle of Stamford Bridge

Godwineson decided to march north and fight off the Norwegians. He believed that he could reach the north, defeat the Norwegians and return back south before the wind changed.

After a rapid march north, Godwineson's army caught the Norwegians by surprise at Stamford Bridge.  The result was a firm victory for the English.

Both Harald and Godwineson's brother, Tostig were dead as were hundreds of Norwegian soldiers.

 

 

Godwineson ordered a huge banquet to be held at York to celebrate the victory.

However, the celebrations were cut short when news reached Godwineson that William of Normandy had landed on the South Coast.

Norman Ship

 

Activities

Harald Hardrada/Stamford Bridge Wordsearch

Wordsearch

Harold Hardrada/Stamford Bridge Quiz

Quick Quiz


  Bibliography/Further Information

 

 

Search this Site    What's New    Historical Terms    Egyptians   Romans    Normans    Medieval Life    Tudors    Stuarts    English Civil War    Native Americans     Black Peoples of America    American West    British Monarchy    The Olympics    Titanic    World War One    Nazi Germany   Holocaust    World War Two    Cold War    A-Z of History    Historical Dictionary    Historical People    Famous Battles    Timelines    Online Lessons    Worksheets    Games    Links to History Sites    History Out and About    On This Day in History


facebook link picture
Follow us on Facebook
Follow History on the Net on Twitter

Tweet button


Stumbleupon


Reddit

 

 

Updated 07/10/12
Copyright © Historyonthenet 2000-2014 All rights reserved
Site created November 2000


Site design © History on the Net

Validator image

Terms, Conditions and Privacy