NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


The term “Anglo-Normans” refers to a group of people of Norman and other French origin who settled in England and parts of Wales and Ireland.

The Anglo-Normans trace their origins to the Normans, who were originally Scandinavian Vikings that settled in the region of Normandy in present-day northern France. In 1066, under the leadership of Duke William of Normandy (later known as William the Conqueror), they invaded England and defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings, leading to the Norman Conquest of England.

After the conquest, William the Conqueror and his followers took control of England’s lands and established a new feudal ruling class. Many Anglo-Saxons were displaced from their lands, and the Anglo-Normans introduced a system of feudalism to England.

The Anglo-Normans were responsible for building numerous castles and fortifications throughout England. These structures served both as defensive strongholds and symbols for their authority. Many of these castles still stand today and have become iconic landmarks of the English landscape.

In 1086, William the Conqueror commissioned the Doomesday Book, a comprehenesive survey of landholdings and property ownership in England. It provided valuable information about the extent of Norman control over the newly conquered territory.

In the decades following the Norman Conquest, the Anglo-Normans expanded their influence beyond England. They conducted military campaigns in Wales and Ireland, leading to the establishment of Norman lordships and territories in these regions.

Over time, the Anglo-Normans assimilated into the local cultures of the lands they conquered, adopting the English language and customs while also maintaining some of their Norman-French heritage. Their influence on the English language, legal system, and culture was significant and enduring.

By the later medieval period, the identities of the Anglo-Normans began to merge with the broader English and Welsh populations. Intermarriage and integration led to the blending of the Norman and English cultures, creating a distinct Anglo-Norman identity within the broader English society.