The Bayeux Tapestry and 1066

We studied the Battle of 1066 using the Bayeux Tapestry as our starting point.  I knew the children had a good grasp of the battle as we had been to see a re enactment on the hill the original battle was fought on.  I didn’t feel much teaching was required.  It was important that the children understood that although the tapestry was a primary source of evidence it was bias, having been created for the Normans to celebrate their victory over the English.

We had a fabulous book as a starting point, and for children even younger than mine I would highly recommend it:

A retelling of the Bayeux Tapestry from the point of view of one of William's servants
A retelling of the Bayeux Tapestry from the point of view of one of William’s servants

In addition this website is incredible and we made full use of it!

First I had the children work their way through each of the pages on the contents page of the website above, after which they were allowed to go onto the activities page.  I asked them to have a bit of fun creating their own Bayeux Tapestry.  The children had a ball and asked to do this again and again.  I also downloaded and printed this exercise in matching the scenes with a precise description of the scene, which they then had to put into the correct order:




And the finished product:


I had a couple of DVD’s which covered 1066 and the Bayeux Tapestry which they watched and narrated to me afterwards:


Last week (when we did this study) I had a baby who was crying almost constantly so we didn’t get all the activities done that I’d planned.  For example I had asked the children to choose a simple picture to replicate from the tapestry and I had our embroidery rings, material and thread all ready.  It was not to be.  I am thankful that we will be revisiting at some point and embroidery is a great thing to do during a fun revisiting week!

Highhill Homeschool


  1. So jealous you got to see a reenactment. I’m discovering as I go through 20th century, that while I enjoy this period of history, there is so much of it that effects current times that they are not old enough to discuss yet. I’m lookign forward to going back to ancients.

    1. I wouldn’t be too jealous – it was pouring with rain and the whole site was basically a mud bath. That said, you know you’re watching something worthwhile when your children, wet, tired and very cold, are totally spellbound and watch the entire thing without complaint. Well okay, I s’pose you can be jealous!!!

  2. Awesome! We had a lot of fun learning about the Bayeux Tapestry last year. The Reading Museum has a full size replicate Victorian copy of it, if you’re near the area. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the wonderful resources that you use with your children. I love reading about how learning takes place in your home!

  3. We haven’t gotten into this time period of history. I really like the way you coordinated this lesson by centering it around the tapestry.

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