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Watch Buildings That Shaped Britain online: Episode 1 Conquest

In Conquest, we reveal how the Britain we see today has been shaped by successive waves of invaders and settlers. We look at the Norman conquest of England, which was initiated by William the Conquerors invasion and victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The conquest massively altered Englands language, culture and governmental system. It also had a profound impact upon the countrys architecture. Thurley explains how the invaders effectively destroyed the architecture of the Anglo-Saxons. In the process, a culture which was arguably more sophisticated than the new occupying one was irretrievably lost. As the Normans assimilated into British society, they imposed a new style of Romanesque architecture. The Normans erected numerous castles, fortifications, monasteries, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, all featuring distinctive rounded arches. We ask whether these building methods were new and uniquely British, exploring the considerable debt that the Normans owed to the first invaders to shape Britain - the Romans.

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