Return to the Battle of Hastings

Shield Wall

"The English fought confidently with all their might, striving particularly to prevent a gap being opened by their attackers. They were so tightly packed together that there was hardly room for the slain to fall."

William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi

One imagines the weakened English drawing closer together as it endured the rain of arrows and mounted assaults. And yet the match between footman and horseman must have been even; otherwise, the battle would not have raged as long as it did.