Anglo Saxon History

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Map Position

This map shows the position of locations containing '' centered on York in York.

Map Logic

This map shows the area around Battle and Hastings in 1066.

Roman roads are shown as black lines, red lines show old Roman Ridge trackways and purple lines show theoretical Roman roads implied by village and road names.

The thickness of the road implies the width of the Roman metalled surface.

The sea level is shown raised by 5 metres to accomodate the high tide level changes since 1066 see our Sea Level page.

The green shaded area shows what we believe is the area of the impassible Forest of Andredsweald.


 

Phase 9 - Battle of Stamford Bridge

The Battle of Stamford Bridge, and the defeat of Harold Hardrada and Harolds brother Tosti.

 

Phase 9 - Battle of Stamford Bridge
The Battle of Stamford Bridge, and the defeat of Harold Hardrada and Harolds brother Tosti.
This page shows the documentary evidence from translated original documents


Anglo Saxon Chronicles

In the midst of this came Harold, king of the English, with all his army, on the Sunday, to Tadcaster; where he collected his fleet. Thence he proceeded on Monday throughout York. But Harald, King of Norway, and Earl Tosty, with their forces, were gone from their ships beyond York to Stanfordbridge; for that it was given them to understand, that hostages would be brought to them there from all the shire.

Thither came Harold, king of the English, unawares against them beyond the bridge; and they closed together there, and continued long in the day fighting very severely. There was slain Harald the Fair-hair'd, King of Norway, and Earl Tosty, and a multitude of people with them, both of Normans and English; and the Normans that were left fled from the English, who slew them hotly behind; until some came to their ships, some were drowned, some burned to death, and thus variously destroyed; so that there was little left: and the English gained possession of the field. But there was one of the Norwegians who withstood the English folk, so that they could not pass over the bridge, nor complete the victory. An Englishman aimed at him with a javelin, but it availed nothing. Then came another under the bridge, who pierced him terribly inwards under the coat of mail. And Harold, king of the English, then came over the bridge, followed by his army; and there they made a great slaughter, both of the Norwegians and of the Flemings. But Harold let the king's son, Edmund, go home to Norway with all the ships. He also gave quarter to Olave, the Norwegian king's son, and to their bishop, and to the earl of the Orkneys, and to all those that were left in the ships; who then went up to our king, and took oaths that they would ever maintain faith and friendship unto this land. Whereupon the King let them go home with twenty-four ships. These two general battles were fought within five nights.

Battle Abbey Chronicles

No reference to this subject in this document.

Bayeux_Tapestry

No reference to this subject in this document.

Carmen de Triumpho Normannico

Meanwhile the accursed King Harold at the far end of the land
Honed treacherous blades to cut down a brother
For the brother had occupied no small part of the kingdom
Harold rushed the army to confront the enemy
He did not fear to deliver the limbs of a brother to death
Each to the other waged worse than civil war
But alas, Harold was the victor.

Florence of Worcester

After these transactions, Harold Harfaager, king of Norway, brother of St. Olave the king, suddenly arrived at the mouth of the river Tyne, with a powerful fleet of more than five hundred great ships. Earl Tosti joined him with his fleet, as they had before agreed, and they made all sail into the Humbor ; and then ascending the river Tyne against the current, landed their troops at a place called Eichale. As soon as king Harold received this news, he marched with all expedition towards Northumbria ; but, before the king's arrival, the two brothers, earls Edwin and Morcar, at the head of a large army, fought a battle with the Norwegians on the northern bank of the river Ouse, near York, on the eve of the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [20th September], being Wednesday ; and their first onset was so furious that numbers of the enemy fell before it. But, after a long struggle, the English, unable to withstand the attack of the Norwegians, fled with great loss, and many more of them were drowned in the river than slain in the fight. The Norwegians remained in possession of the field of death ; and, having taken one hundred and fifty hostages from York, and leaving there one hundred and fifty hostages of their own, returned to their ships. However, on the fifth day afterwards, viz. on Monday, the seventh of the calends of October [25th September], Harold, king of England, having reached York, with many thousand well-armed troops, encountered the Norwegians at a place called Stanford Bridge, and put to the sword king Harold and earl Tosti, with the greatest part of their army ; and, although the battle was severely contested, gained a complete victory. Notwithstanding, he allowed Harold's son Olaf, and Paul, earl of Orkney, who had been left with part of the army to guard the ships, to return to their own country, with twenty ships and the relics of the [defeated] army ; having first received from them hostages and their oaths.

Henry of Huntingdon

When this intelligence reached Harold, king of England, he advanced with a powerful army, and came up with the invaders at Stanford Bridge.The battle was desperately fought, the armies being engaged from daybreak to noonday, when, after fierce attacks on both sides, the Norwegians were forced to give way before the superior numbers of the English, but retreated in good order. Being driven across the river, the living trampling on the corpses of the slain, they resolutely made a fresh stand. Here a single Norwegian, whose name ought to have been preserved, took post on a bridge, and hewing down more than forty of the English with a battleaxe, his country's weapon, stayed the advance of the whole English army till the ninth horn:. At last some one came under the bridge in a boat, and thrust a spear into him, through the chinks of the flooring. The English having gained a passage, King Harold and Tosti were slain and their whole army were either slaughtered, or, being taken prisoners, were burnt.

Master Wace

He found him beyond the Humber, in a town where he had just dined. Harold carried himself very loftily, for he had been beyond Humber, and had had great success in overcoming Tosti. Tosti was Harold's brother ; but unfortunately they had become enemies, and Tosti had sent his friends to Harold, calling upon him to give him his father's fief, now that it had fallen out, that, right or wrong, he had become king; and requiring him to let him have the lands their father held by inheritance; and he promised on this being done to ask no more; but to become his man, and acknowledge him for lord, and serve him as well as he did King Edward.

But Harold would not agree to this ; he would neither give nor exchange ought with him ; so Tosti became very wroth, and crossed over to Denmark, and brought with him Danes and Norwegians, and landed over against Eurowick. When Harold learnt the news, he made himself ready, and set out against Tosti, and fought with and conquered him and his troops. Tosti was killed near Pontfrait, and his army besides suffered great loss. Then Harold set out on his return from Pontfrait, and glorified him self exceedingly. But foolish is he who glorifies himself, for good fortune soon passeth away ; bad news swiftly comes ; soon may he die himself who has slain others; and the heart of man often rejoiceth when his ruin is nigh.

Harold returned rejoicing and triumphing, bearing himself right proudly, when news met him that put other thoughts in his mind ; for lo ! the knight is come who set out from Hastings. ' The Normans,' he cried, ' are come ! they have landed at Hastings ! thy land will they wrest from thee, if thou canst not defend thyself well ; they have enclosed a fort, and strengthened it round about with palisades and a fosse.'

'Sorry am I,' said Harold, 'that I was not there at their arrival. It is a sad mischance; I had better have given what Tosti asked, so that I had been at the port when William reached the coast, and had disputed his landing ; we might then have driven so many into the sea that they would never have made good their landing, nor have touched ought of ours : neither would they have missed death on land, if they had escaped the dangers of the sea. But thus it hath pleased the heavenly king; and I could not be every where at once.'

There was a baron of the land I do not know his name who had loved the duke well, and was in secret council with him, and desired, so far as he was able, that no harm should befall him. This baron sent word to him privily, that he was too weak ; that he had come with too little force, as it seemed to him, to do what he had undertaken ; for that there were so many men in England, that it would be very hard to conquer. So he counselled him in good faith, and in true love, to leave the country and go home to his own land before Harold should arrive ; for he feared lest he should miscarry, and he should grieve much, he said, if any misfortune should befall him. The duke answered briefly, that he saw no reason for doubt ; that he might rely upon it, if he had but ten thousand of as noble knights as those of whom he had sixty thousand or more, he would still fight it out. Yea, he said, he would never go back till he had taken vengeance on Harold.

William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)

In the month of August, Harold, king of Norway, and Tostig, with a powerful fleet set sail over the wide sea, and, steering for England with a favourable aparctic, or north wind, landed in Yorkshire, which was the first object of their invasion.

Meanwhile, Harold of England, having intelligence of the descent of the Norwegians, withdrew his ships and troops from Hastings and Pevensey, and the other seaports on the coast lying opposite to Neustria, which he had carefully guarded with a powerful armament during the whole of the year, and threw himself unexpectedly, with a strong force by hasty marches on his enemies from the north. A hard-fought battle ensued, in which there was great effusion of blood on both sides, vast numbers being slain with brutal rage. At last the furious attacks of the English secured them the victory, and the king of Norway as well as Tostig, with their whole army, were slain. The field of battle may be easily discovered by travellers, as great heaps of the bones of the slain lie there to this day, memorials of the prodigious numbers which fell on both sides.

William of Malmesbury

No reference to this subject in this document.

Quedam Exceptiones de Historia Normannorum et Anglorum

It happened at this time Harold was with his brother Tostig and Harald, nicknamed Hardrata, king of the Norwegians, above the Humber River; they were ambushed near the river; (Harold) killed all persons fighting with his brother.



External References in no particular order :-
Original Manuscripts of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Roman Britain.org
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)
The Spears of Andred
Find British Archaelogical Sites
Wealden Iron Research Group

 

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Author: Simon M - Last Updated: 08/04/2019 14:01
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