Battle of Hastings re-enacted 950 years after Norman conquest

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

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.

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, the bloodshed of which was later immortalised in the Bayeux Tapestry.

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.

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.

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

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