The Battle of Northam was probably fought on Friday 26th June 1069. In an unusually long and bloody battle, Brian of Brittany defeated an army headed by two sons of King Harold – who was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Battle of Northam is important because it sealed William the Conqueror’s victory over King Harold’s family and in contemporaries believed that it represented the climax of the Norman Conquest.
The Family of King Harold
Most people know that King Harold was killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066, supposedly after an arrow hit him in the eye. King Harold’s family were the most powerful group in England. Two of Harold’s brothers died at Hastings, but his mother Gytha remained a powerful landowner and he had teenage sons by his unofficial ‘wife’ Edith. The sons were called Godwine, Edmund and Magnus.