946 years on

Today marks the day 946 years after William I, also known as William the Conqueror, landed in England prior to the Battle of Hastings.

Having conquered England William took on a very complex administration and simplified it. Historians still debate William’s legacy. Undoubtedly the impact on England of William’s conquest was profound; changes in the Church, aristocracy, culture, and language of the country that have persisted into modern times.

The Conquest brought the kingdom into closer contact with France and forged ties between France and England that lasted throughout the Middle Ages. Another consequence of William’s invasion was the sundering of the formerly close ties between England and Scandinavia.

Some claim that the Conquest was the single most radical change in European history between the Fall of Rome and the 20th century.

William is seen simultaneously as one of the creators of England’s greatness or as inflicting one of the greatest defeats in English history.

What do you think?

And what would William make of the England of today?