Check out the scenes from the Battle of Hastings re-enactment on the 950th anniversary


More than a thousand soldiers simulated English history's most defining battle on the same site 950 years later.

Swords clashed, arrows flew and maces swung as a group of chain mail-clad re-enactors played out the 1066 Battle of Hastings - a conflict which changed the face of England.

There were falconry and weaponry displays, historical lectures and living history camps for some 8,000 people attending the event, which also runs on Sunday.

A group of re-enactors arrive in Battle

In Battle, near Hastings, on October 14 1066, the forces of Harold and Duke William "The Conqueror" of Normandy met.

Anglo-Saxon King Harold was killed and William seized the English throne, with the bloodshed later immortalised in the Bayeux Tapestry.

A re-enactor arrives in Battle

Ahead of Saturday's re-enactment, a core group of die-hards had marched for three weeks on foot and horseback starting in York, echoing the journey King Harold made to fight nearly 1,000 years ago.

The march - organised by English Heritage - was part of a series of events marking the 950th anniversary of the events of 1066 and the Norman Conquest.

Re-enactors arrive in Battle, near Hastings

Marching into central London, the re-enactors joined a pop-up Saxon encampment in Hyde Park on October 8.

Nigel Amos, who led the 1066 march on behalf of English Heritage, said: "I have been involved in re-enactment for many years and for me this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Re-enactors in Battle, near Hastings

Phil Harper, spokesman for English Heritage, said it was the biggest event for several years.