Battles, sieges and conquests
Although Norman knights fought in Iberia, the Balkans and the Near East, their most direct impact was felt in Normandy, the British Isles and southern Italy
Norman armies had a huge influence across much of Europe
BATTLE OF CIVITATE
18 JUNE 1053 FOGGIA, APULIA, ITALY Humphrey de Hauteville defeats a papal coalition and Pope Leo IX is taken prisoner. The battle is the culmination of years of Norman mercenary campaigning in southern Italy.
BATTLE OF MORTEMER
1054 MORTEMER, NORMANDY, FRANCE Henry I of France occupies the Norman town of Mortemer but is defeated when William the Bastard (later the 'Conqueror') sets the town alight. William’s victory enables him to secure his position as duke of Normandy.
BATTLE OF VARAVILLE
AUGUST 1057 VARAVILLE, NORMANDY, FRANCE After Mortemer, Henry I of France decides to conquer Normandy, but Duke William surprises the French as they cross a ford. Many of Henry’s men drown, and the king abandons any further attempts to reduce William’s power.
BATTLE OF CERAMI
JUNE 1063 CERAMI, SICILY, ITALY Cerami is a major victory against Muslim forces in Sicily. Roger de Hauteville (Roger I of Sicily) routs Kalbid and Zirid forces. The battle enables the Normans to capture Palermo.
BATTLE OF HASTINGS
14 OCTOBER 1066 BATTLE, EAST SUSSEX, ENGLAND Hastings marks the high point of Norman military might. england is conquered in one battle, where Duke William of Normandy defeats and kills Harold II, the last Anglo-saxon english king.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE WHITE TOWER
1078-1100 LONDON, ENGLAND Stone castles are the most formidable military symbol of Norman authority. William the Conqueror builds the most famous castle in London, which is known as the 'White Tower'.
SIEGE OF WEXFORD
MAY 1169 WEXFORD, COUNTY WEXFORD, IRELAND Robert Fitzstephen leads an expeditionary force of Norman soldiers to assist Diarmait Mac Murchada in southeast Ireland, and they advance on Wexford. The town falls and Wexford comes under Norman control, along with areas of southeast Leinster.
SIEGE OF CHÂTEAU GAILLARD
AUGUST 1203 - 6 MARCH 1204 CHÂTEAU GAILLARD Philip II of France wrests control of Normandy from King John of england by besieging Château Gaillard. every siege technique is used to take the castle, including mining tunnels, using Greek fire and siege engines, and even climbing up a toilet chute.
“STONE CASTLES ARE THE MOST FORMIDABLE MILITARY SYMBOL OF NORMAN AUTHORITY”
LEFT: A Norman force allies with the Irish of Leinster to besiege Waterford. The Normans are led by Richard de Clare, Second Earl of Pembroke, who becomes known as 'Strongbow' William the Conqueror is wounded while fighting his eldest son Robert Curthose during a battle at Gerberoy
Norman knights attack Anglo-saxon soldiers who have formed a shield wall at Hastings. Cavalry plays a decisive part in William the Conqueror’s victory The White Tower is the most complete 11th-century castle in existence and was one of the largest in Christendom. It forms the central part of the Tower of London The present-day ruins of Château Gaillard represent the Normans’ decline and inability to defend their own duchy from direct French rule