We all know about the Battle of Hastings (October 14th) and the events that took
place there, but few people know about the momentous battle that took place here
in Stamford Bridge on September 25th 1066.
We must not forget the battle of Fulford (20th September} in which the Viking army defeated the Northern Army at York -
In 1066 the English King Harold Godwinson fought and defeated a huge Viking army here at Stamford Bridge. Although history recalls how Harold lost at Hastings 19 days later; the significance and scale of this battle should not be underestimated, nor the efforts made by King Harold to bring an army here from London (marching 180 miles in 5 days). All this without proper roads or transport – unbelievable even by today’s standards!!
The Vikings had arrived in 300 ships which had sailed up the Humber and landed at Riccall. They then marched to York and defeated the English at the battle of Fulford. 5 days later they were caught by surprise at Stamford Bridge when Harold Godwinson arrived unexpectedly.
The Battle itself was a ferocious encounter that lasted several hours, the English
may have had up to 8-
Viking King Harald Sigurdsson (Hardrada) and Tostig (Godwinsons' brother) were both killed. It was a significant victory for the English under Godwinson, but his victory was shortlived, he had to march south soon after to meet the Normans at Hasting. We all know what happened next….
The after effects of Fulford and Stamford Bridge became apparent for the English and the legacy of the events in Yorkshire in 1066 should never be forgotten.