October Symposium Shines Spotlight on the Norman Conquest in Winchester

  • Depiction of William the Conqueror, perhaps in Winchester in 1070

A one-day conference exploring the impact of the Norman Conquest on Winchester and its people is to be headlined by historian and broadcaster, Dr Marc Morris.

Winchester and the Norman Conquest takes place at Winchester’s Guildhall on Saturday 19 October and shines a spotlight on Winchester in what is often seen as a defining moment in English and British history. Six leading experts on 11th century England will consider not only how the principal city of Alfred the Great and its people were affected by conquest, but crucially, the role that the city played in determining its course.

Dr Morris will end the day’s programme with a talk entitled The Norman Conquest: why did it matter? exploring why 1066 is remembered above all other dates and why the events of that year mattered so much. The conference will be chaired by Professor Ryan Lavelle, Reader in Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester, internationally recognised expert in Anglo-Saxon Winchester and historical advisor for The Last Kingdom, the hit TV series based on the novels by Bernard Cornwell.

‘Winchester is intimately involved in the history of the Norman Conquest,’ commented Morris. ‘It was here in 1070 that William the Conqueror was crowned for a second time by visiting papal legates, and it was here in 1076 that the last English rebel, Earl Waltheof, was executed. It was also here, from 1079, that a new cathedral began to rise, eventually to become the largest church in Europe north of the Alps. And it was almost certainly here, at the close of William’s reign, that Domesday Book was written – ‘the great book of Winchester’, as it was known in the twelfth century. There are, in short, few better places to discuss the impact of the events of 1066, and I am honoured to be taking part in what looks to be an excellent symposium in this remarkable city.’

Dr Morris will be joined by speakers Professor Eric Fernie, formerly director at London’s Courtauld Institute of Art; Dr Charles Insley, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and Head of Department of History, University of Manchester; military historian Dr Matthew Bennett, formerly of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; Dr Katherine Weikert, Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval European History at the University of Winchester and Dr Leonie Hicks, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Full details of the day’s programme are available here. Early bird tickets priced at £55 per person are available up to and including 1 October, standard tickets from 2 October are priced at £65. Tickets include the full symposium programme, lunch and refreshments and can be bought online or in person at City Space on the ground floor of Winchester Discovery Centre.

Winchester, Early Medieval Power and Faith forms part of Winchester, The Royal City, a project which aims to celebrate and promote Winchester as a centre of key significance in the development of England and English culture. It is the fourth event in the project.