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Battle of Hastings Day

Battle of Hastings Day October 14
October 14 marks that eventful day on which William, the Duke of Normandy, defeated King Harold’s Saxon army at the Battle of Hastings. Each year, the Friday before or after October 14, the English Literature and History class celebrates “The Battle of Hastings Day” with a discussion of the day’s importance and cake, decorated for the occasion.
Battle of Hastings Cake, 2021
This year the baker again turned to the Bayeux Tapestry for inspiration. The cake attempts to replicate Harold's fatal injury—an arrow in his eye. The baker used real (edible) gold in the fondant! The Bayeux Tapestry is in the upper left-hand corner of the picture.
Battle of Hastings Cake, 2020
Halley's comet, named after the astronomer who discovered it, appears every seventy-five or -six years. When it made its appearance in 1066, many took it to be a sign of great significance. Weavers marked the event in the Bayeux tapestry, a magnificent work of art that commemorates the Battle of Hastings (pictured in the upper left-hand corner of the picture of the cake), which occurred in the year when the comet lit up the night sky of England. This year the cake was also made in honor of the birthday of one of our English history students!
Battle of Hastings Cake, 2018
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Before launching his invasion of England, William of Normandy had to garner the support of neighboring duchies and territories, as well as make an appeal to the pope. Pope Alexander II blessed William’s take over, giving him the signet ring and the banner of St. George, which are pictured on the cake of 2018.
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Battle of Hastings Cake, 2017
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The Norman invasion had an enormous impact on the history of England—economically, politically and linguistically. Our celebration is not of the victory of the French-speaking Normans over the Saxons. It is to recognize that the the great literature, language and institutions of the English would not have been the same had not William the Conqueror defeated Harold on Senlac Hill. Below is a representative map of the event. Notice that the Norman troops were arrayed in three groups, which consisted of foot soldiers, archers and cavalry. Harold’s forces, represented in red, made a shield wall, which seemed invincible when unbroken, but once weakened by a ruse, the Norman forces were able to penetrate and later defeat Harold’s ax-wielding men. Our cake decorators tried to reflect the more gruesome aspects of the war, which included the gouging of King Harold’s eye by an arrow. Don’t worry, girls; it’s food coloring!
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Battle of Hastings Cake, 2016
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Battle of Hastings Cake, 2014
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Battle of Hastings Cake, 2010
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