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Norman kings


William the Conqueror

William I (1066–1087)

As the young Duke of Normandy, William led a powerful army—including a highly-trained cavalry—which he used to put down rebellions in his Duchy and defend it against the King of France. In 1066, William launched an invasion of England to seize the crown, which he believed had been promised to him by Edward the Confessor. At the Battle of Hastings, he defeated and killed Harold, who had been elected king after Edward’s death. Ascending the throne as William I, it took him six years to control his kingdom. He crushed uprisings in the west and drove both Danes and Scots out of the north of the country. To impose Norman power on his new subjects, William the Conqueror, as he has been known ever since, had more than 80 stone castles built across the land during his reign.

The exact location of Henry I's burial place is uncertain, but it is most likely now in a built-up area of central Reading, on the site of an ancient abbey. Following the successful discovery of Richard III's remains in a car park in Leicester, plans are now underway to search for Henry's.

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