On 28 September 1066 William of Normandy landed near Hastings and prepared to meet the Anglo-Saxon army of King Harold Godwinson. On 10 October 1066 the two armies met; and after six hours of fighting what became known as the Battle of Hastings, the Anglo-Saxon army was crushed and their king slain. The Normans set up castles to control the native population, and four-fifths of all England's land changed ownership. However, despite initial Norman success, it was fully two centuries before the Anglo-Norman kings managed to penetrate the wild interiors of Wales and Scotland, and many more centuries before the countries of Scotland, Wales and England were united under one crown.
Christopher Rothero is an expert on the armies of medieval Europe. He has written and illustrated several titles for the Osprey Men-at Arms series including Men-at-Arms 210 The Venetian Empire 1200-1670 and Men-at-Arms 113 The Armies of Agincourt.