The Norman Conquest 1066-1087
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Mark Hagger
Overall aims and purpose
1066 is arguably one of the most significant dates in British History and William the Conqueror one of the most famous kings of England. The Normans destroyed the Anglo-Saxon elite and transformed England in many ways so that within twenty years of 1066 the political, cultural, and mental landscapes were very different. Their impact was felt in similar ways in Wales and, to a lesser extent, in Scotland, too. This module will introduce students to England and Normandy before the Conquest, as well as the Hastings campaign of 1066 and the subsequent efforts of William I and his men to subdue and settle the kingdom that had fallen into their hands. On the way, we will also look at the religious, social, cultural, and artistic changes and developments that occurred as a direct result of the Conquest - but we will also be looking for continuity, for many aspects of English law, justice, and government remained largely unchanged. Students will be able to use a wide range of primary sources in translation for both classes and assessments, and will also engage with the extensive historiography relating to these events to explore how and why historians' views about the Normans have developed over the years.
During the module we will examine the following areas, week-by-week: 1. England and Normandy before the Conquest; 2. Edward the Confessor and the succession crisis; 3. The Hastings campaign and William's coronation; 4. The English rebellions and the Harrying of the North, 1067-1071; 5. Ruling England: earls, sheriffs, and acta; 6. Court and charisma; 7. Changes to the Church; 8. Wales and Scotland; 9. Domesday Book; 10. The new architecture. These topics will all be discussed with close reference to the primary sources, and the emphasis during the seminars will be on discussion of key primary sources and key historiographies.
Good students (B- to B+) will demonstrate a solid level of achievement and depth of knowledge in all the criteria in the C- to C+ range, and will in addition exhibit constructive engagement with different types of historical writing and historiographical interpretation. Ideas will be communicated effectively and written work will include a good range of sources/reading and demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues and of the existing interpretations expressed in a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument. Students at the top end of this band will engage with and critique the ideas that they come across, and synthesise the various interpretations they find to reach their own considered conclusions. Written work will be correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.
Excellent students (A- and above) will show strong achievement across all the criteria combined with particularly impressive depths of knowledge and/or subtlety of analysis. In written work, they will support their arguments with a wealth of relevant detail/examples. They will also demonstrate an acute awareness of the relevant historiography and give an account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical debate. They may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, nuancing their argument in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. Overall, the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently superior to top upper-second work. Standards of presentation will also be high.
Threshold students (D- and D) will have done only a minimum of reading, and their work will often be based partly on lecture notes and/or basic textbooks. They will demonstrate in their written assessments some knowledge of at least parts of the relevant field, and will make at least partially-successful attempts to frame an argument which engages with historical controversies, but they will fail to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; and/or deploy only some relevant material but partly fail to combine it into a coherent whole; and/or deploy some evidence to support individual points but often fail to do so and/or show difficulty weighing evidence (thereby relying on unsuitable or irrelevant evidence when making a point). Alternatively or additionally, the presentation of the work might also be poor, with bad grammar and/or punctuation, careless typos and spelling errors, and a lack of effective and correct referencing.
C- to C+
Students in this band (C- to C+) will demonstrate a satisfactory range of achievement or depth of knowledge of most parts of the module, and will make successful, if occasionally inconsistent, attempts to develop those skills appropriate to the study of History at undergraduate level. In the case of the written assessments, the answers will attempt to focus on the question, although might drift into narrative, and will show some evidence of solid reading and research. The argument might lose direction and might not be adequately clear at the bottom of this category. Written work will be presented reasonably well with only limited errors in grammar, punctuation, and referencing, and not to the extent that they obscure meaning.
Knowledge and understanding of primary sources for the period (promoted by student examination of a file of such sources (either in hard copy or online) which forms part of the course literature). The ability to analyse these sources and use them in argument will be promoted by seminars (some of which will concentrate on the sources in the file), and by feedback on coursework. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of techniques of source criticism in major texts and other sources
The ability to analyse individual pieces of historical evidence very closely (promoted in specially designated seminars and tested by the written assessments).
the ability to gather and deploy evidence and to find and exchange information from both primary and secondary sources.
An awareness of the competing interpretations of the Norman Conquest, and an ability to judge between them (gained through private reading and seminars, many of which will take the form of debates on the period).
An ability to form and present cogent historical arguments (promoted by experiencing arguments in reading, by practice in seminars (especially seminar presentations), and by feedback on coursework essays, and tested by the written assessments).
A detailed knowledge of the events and developments of the Norman Conquest gained through private reading and seminar discussions and tested by the written assessments.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Students are required to read widely around the topics before the seminars and also to carry out independent research in order to complete the assessments.
This module is taught entirely through seminars. Students are required to prepare in advance so as to be ready to join in the discussion or to ask questions about the materials they have read.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
- understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
- being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
- being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
- producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
- planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
- marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
- demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
- demonstrating an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
- presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
- preparing effective written communications for different readerships
- making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
- making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
- making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
- collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
- appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
- critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
- engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity
Resource implications for students
It would be useful to purchase one or two key textbooks, but otherwise none
Barber, M., The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050-1320 (London and New York, 1992). Barlow, F., The Norman Conquest and Beyond (London, 1983). The New Oxford History of England (Oxford England: Clarendon Press, 2000) Bates, D., William the Conqueror (London, 1989). Baxter, Stephen., The Earls of Mercia: Lordship and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 2007). Bradbury, J., The Battle of Hastings (Stroud, 1998). Brown, R.A., The Normans and the Norman Conquest (2nd edn. Woodbridge, 1985). --------------The Normans (1984). -------------- ‘The Norman Conquest’, in Saul, Nigel (ed.), England in Europe (London, 1994), pp. 36-47. Brownlie, Siobhan, Memory and myths of the Norman Conquest (2013) Chibnall, M., Anglo-Norman England 1066-1166 (Oxford, 1986). Clanchy, M.T., From Memory to Written Record: England, 1066-1307 (2nd ed., Oxford, 1993) Crick, Julia and Van Houts, Elisabth, A Social History of England 900-1200 (Cambridge, 2011) Garnett, George, Conquered England: kingship, succession, and tenure, 1066-1166 (Oxford ; New York. 2007). Essential reading. Golding, Brian, Conquest and Colonization: The Normans in Britain, 1066-1100 (London, 1994). Essential reading. Hamilton, Sarah, Church and People in the Medieval West (Harlow, 2013) ebook (useful for understanding medieval piety, use to explore the views of monastic writers) Horrox Rosemary and Ormrod W. Mark, A Social History of England, 1200-1500 (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2006, useful for thinking about how England changed after the Norman Conquest) ebook Higham, N.J., The Norman Conquest (Stroud, 1998). D. Hill, An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1981) *Loyn, H.R., The Norman Conquest (3rd edn, London, 1982). ----------- Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest (2nd edn, Harlow, 1991). ----------- ‘1066: should we have celebrated?’ Historical Research, 63 (1990), 119-27. Matthew, D., Britain and the Continent 1000-1300: The Impact of the Norman Conquest (Britain and Europe) (London, 2005). McLynn, F.J., 1066: The Year of the Three Battles (London, 1998). Garnett, G., ‘Conquered England, 1066-1215’, in Saul, Nigel (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Oxford, 1997), pp. 61-101, 281-2. Thomas, Hugh M., The Norman conquest : England after William the Conqueror (Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2007). Walker, D., The Normans in Britain (Historical Association studies) (Oxford and Cambridge (MA), 1995). Yoshitake, K., ‘The reign of William the Conqueror and the Anglo-Norman realm: problems of continuity, discontinuity and change’, in Kondo, Kazuhiko (ed.), State and Empire in British History: Proceedings of the Fourth Anglo-Japanese Conference of Historians, 10-12 September 2003, International Community House, Kyoto, Japan ([s.l.], 2003), pp. 21-26. * Essential