Dan Snow takes on one of the most famous dates in British history when, 950 years ago, William of Normandy, soon to be Conquerer, defeated Harold, King of England, at the Battle of Hastings. But 1066 is more than just one battle on one day. It is the dramatic story of a single year when the ancient world of the Anglo-Saxons is swept aside and the dominance of the Vikings is brought to a shuddering halt. It’s the year when the power balance of Europe is upturned and Britain’s future determined.
Dan reveals a bitter tale of family betrayal and political intrigue as England reels in the wake of three rival kings, three separate invasions and three major battles, in the course of just one year. With the Norman victory, in comes a new era of medieval knights, mighty castles, towering cathedrals and linguistic richness - all part of a world that remains familiar in Britain today.
Using the very best historical evidence, including a little-known poem written just months after the battle of Hastings, scientific exploration, hands-on experiment and historical debate, Dan reconstructs the events of 1066 as they unfolded, and brings them vividly to life in action-packed drama as our three warlords Harold (Adam James), William of Normandy (Ed Stoppard), and the Viking Harald Hardrada (Clive Russell) fight for supremacy.
By the end of the year, by the end of 1066, only one will still be alive. Joining Dan Snow are historians Tom Holland, Nina Ramirez, and Dan Jones battling out the politics and tactics of the warring sides. 1066 follows on from the hugely successful Armada: 12 Days To Save England, a strand in which BBC History explores iconic moments as they were really lived, shaping our past and still influencing our present.