The Nasty Normans

Not only did 1066 mean one in the eye for Harold but the imposition of higher taxes and nouvelle cuisine! But was it all bad? It has been argued that although the Saxon aristocracy was wiped out, for the vast majority of the populations life remained relatively unchanged.

Who is this course for

No prior knowledge is necessary but a good understanding of English is essential. A detailed bibliography will be distributed during the first session but if you wish to purchase books for background reading, I would recommend the following:
Richard Husgrave Ruling England 1042 x 1217 (Pearson Longman, 2005)
R.H.C. Davis, The Normans and Their Myths (Thames and Hudson, 1980)

What does this course cover

The Norman Conquest in 1066 was arguably the most catastrophic event in English history. Changes in language and law are still with us today. We can thank the Normans for words like 'murder' and the imposition of inheritance tax! We will begin by looking at the origins of the Normans before 1066 and then move on to explore the political, economic and physical impact wrought on England between 1066 and 1154. Crucial to our study is Domesday Book. We will consider continuity and change in relation to the church, language, art and literature. It is proposed that there be a Saturday day trip to Rochester to view the Norman castle and cathedral.

By the end of this course you will be able to:
- Identify reasons why the English lost the Battle of Hastings in 1066
- Describe the effects of the Norman Conquest on religious life in England
- Explain why Domesday Book is important for Norman Conquest studies and decipher what it reveals about the fortunes of one English manor
- Debate on reasons for the civil war between Stephen and Matilda

What will it be like

Each week there will be an informative talk using PowerPoint and group discussion of contemporary sources in translation. You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally homework reading will be provided. Although this is not an accredited course leading to a formal qualification, you will be encouraged to complete a self-assessment form in which you can monitor your progress

What else do you need to buy or do

There will be the cost of a Saturday day trip to Rochester. Each week you are advised to bring note-taking materials

What this course could lead to

You might consider enrolling on other history courses run by the Centre

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’