Art and History in the Bayeux Tapestry
with Dr Sam Newton (Independent Scholar)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 15th October 2016.


A 950th anniversary special on the Battle of Hastings and the superb embroidery that makes it so unusually vivid.

The Bayeux Tapestry is the most important work of narrative art of the eleventh century and one of the major sources for our understanding of Anglo-Norman culture.  On the day following the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, we shall attempt to unravel the great story this superb embroidery tells in the light of contemporary art and literature, especially the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which provides an almost continuous narrative of the events leading up to and including 1066, one of the most well known years in English history.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:          Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:          The Last of the Line of Alfred

11.15 – 11.40:          Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:          The Oath Sworn at Bayeux, 1064

12.40 – 14.00:          Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:          The Oath Broken at Westminster, 1066

14.50 – 15.10:          Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:          The Judgement of God?

c.16.00:                   Thanks and Close

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991.  He published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia in 1993, and his second, The Reckoning of King Rædwald: the Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial in 2003. He has lectured widely around the country as an independent scholar and has contributed to many radio and television programmes over the years, especially Time Team.  He is a tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, an accredited NADFAS lecturer, and a Director of the Wuffing Education Study-Day Partnership at Sutton Hoo.

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

  • Allen Brown, R., The Normans and the Norman Conquest (London 1969)
  • Barlow, F., Edward the Confessor (London 1970; Yale 1997)
  • Barlow, F., The Godwins (Pearson Longman 2002)
  • Backhouse, J. (ed.), The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art (British Museum, 1984)
  • Bridgeford, A., 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry (Walker 2005)
  • Brink, S. & Price, N. (eds), The Viking World (Routledge 2008)
  • Heywood, J., The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings (Penguin 1995)
  • Hicks, C., The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece (Chatto & Windus 2006)
  • Higham, R. & P. Barker, Timber Castles (London 1992; Exeter 2004)
  • Howard Bloch, R., A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making and Meaning of the Bayeux Tapestry (Random House 2006)
  • Jones, G., A History of the Vikings (2nd Edition, Oxford 1984)
  • Liddiard, R. (ed.), Anglo-Norman Castles (Woodbridge 2003)
  • Magnusson, Magnus, & Hermann Pálsson, King Harald’s Saga (Penguin Classics 1966)
  • Muntz, H., The Golden Warrior: the story of Harold and William (Chatto & Windus 1950)
  • Musset, L., The Bayeux Tapestry, tr. R.Rex (Boydell 2005)
  • Swanton, M.(ed. & tr.), The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent 1996; Phoenix 2000)
  • Williams, A., The English and the Norman Conquest (Boydell 1995)
  • Wilson, D., The Bayeux Tapestry (Thames & Hudson 1985)
  • Williams, G., The Viking Ship (British Museum Press 2014)