The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 is one of the pivotal points in British history, an event which shaped the politics, language, and culture not only of England, but also Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. As such, it has also been extensively studied as generations of scholars have been drawn to the series of events that brought William I ‘the Conquerer’ to the English throne.
And now, with modern technology, we can experience the story of the conquest through one of mediaeval history’s most unique sources: the Bayeux Tapestry. This, however, isn’t your mother’s Bayeux Tapestry. Thanks to animator David Newton, the figures move, the sails rustle, flames dance. My favourite scene in the animation is the final battle between King Harold and William, brought even more vividly to life now that the original embroideries strike and swipe and fall tangled with their horses, while needle-point arrows whiz above.
Its a wonderful video, but a few historical points should be mentioned. The tapestry itself is a complex piece, measuring in at 230 ft. long, and the interpretation of many of its scenes are still being debated. If you want to understand the Norman Conquest in a nutshell, however, the animated tapestry is a charming, and unexpectedly immediate, way to do so.
I found this video via: http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/the_bayeux_tapestry_animatio.html