The Bayeux Tapestry is a famous piece of art that tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It is over 230 feet long and contains nearly 1,000 images. The tapestry was commissioned by William the Conqueror’s half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. It took about 20 years to complete and was likely finished in the 1070s.
The tapestry is now on display at the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in France.
The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth nearly 230 feet long and 20 inches wide, which tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It is also one of the few surviving sources of information about this period of history.
The Bayeux Tapestry was probably commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conqueror in about 1070.
Odo may have given it to the cathedral at Bayeux as a votive offering after the successful invasion.
It is a very important historical document because it provides an eyewitness account of the events leading up to and including the Battle of Hastings in October 1066.
The tapestry was probably made in England by Anglo-Saxon artists. The designer of the Bayeux Tapestry is unknown.
The story of the Bayeux Tapestry
The story of the Bayeux Tapestry begins with Harold Godwinson, the Earl of Wessex, who was crowned king of England after the death of Edward the Confessor.
Harold was not the rightful heir to the throne, however, and he was opposed by several other claimants, including William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy.
In late September of Harold’s first year as king, William invaded England with a large army and began to march on London. Harold mustered his troops and marched north to meet him, but he was eventually defeated by William at the Battle of Hastings in October of that year.
The defeat at Hastings was a turning point in English history, and the consequences of it are still felt today.
Harold was killed in the battle, and William became the first Norman king of England. The Normans were people from northern France who had been settling in Normandy for centuries.
Facts about the Bayeux Tapestry
- The Bayeux Tapestry was commissioned by Anglo-Norman Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half brother to King William I
- The Bayeux Tapestry is about 70 meters long and 50 cm high.
- It depicts the events leading up to and including the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
- The tapestry tells the story of the Norman Conquest in 65 scenes
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "The Bayeux Tapestry" https://englishhistory.net/middle-ages/the-bayeux-tapestry/, January 26, 2022