There were literally hundreds of battles in medieval times. We will be listing all the famous and important medieval battles in these articles rather than covering them all. Medieval battles were a part of everyday life in middle ages and there were battles not only throughout England and Europe but also in most parts of the world.
As the medieval period progressed the tactics and weapons used in medieval combat changed dramatically and battles and wars were usually won by the armies that had the most advanced medieval weapons, armour and had intelligent and battle hardened and experienced generals and soldiers.
One of the most famous medieval battles was Battle of Hastings, in which William the Conqueror of France defeated King Harold of England, this led to the Normans defeat of the English and led to Norman rule.
In the Reconquista period the battle of Tours was the most important battle and then there were the many crusades from Europe to the Holylands. There was also the small matter of the 100-years war between England and France that actually lasted 116 years! and the Wars of the Roses.
The Battle of Crécy was just one of a number of battles during the 100 years war between England and France. The Battle of Crécy was dominated by the English longbowmen in the same way as the battle of Agincourt. Read more about the Battle of Crécy >>
William the conqueror defeated brave King Harold in the battle of Hastings which led to French Norman rule of England and the introduction of the medieval Feudal system in 1066. Read more about the Battle of Hastings >>
The Battle of Poitiers was the second major victory for the English forces during the Hundred Years' War which was the longest war in history and actually lasted 116 years! Read more about the Battle of Poitiers >>
Medieval war tactics became more advanced as the medieval period advanced, however many leaders took the best parts of ancient war tactics and developed known war tactic methods Read more about the Medieval War Tactics >>
The medieval times was a period of constant Medieval Warfare. Medieval Warfare became very advanced towards the latter parts of the medieval period as constant improvements to weaponry and fortifications was made. Read more about the Medieval Warfare >>
The Wars of the Roses was a series of battles for supremacy between the warring factions of the Royal house of Plantagenet. The Wars of the Roses led to Tudor rule and the following Tudor dynasty that ruled England. Read more about the The Wars of the Roses >>
Medieval Battles & Wars – Battle of Agincourt
The 30,000 strong army of King Henry travelled from England to France to port town of Harfluer this consisted of 5000 Knights men at arms and archers against the French army who were approximately 30,000 to 100,000 strong. The war of Agincourt lasted 100 years from 25 October 1415 it was mainly in English and Welsh army led by King Henry V and they were fighting the constable of France Charles d’Albret, Comte de Dreux.
Medieval Battles & Wars – Battle of Bannockburn
The Battle of Bannockburn took place in 1314 this was another battle between England and Scotland with the Scottish fighting for their independence.
King Robert the Bruce who is a legend in Scottish folklore led the Scottish army to a rare victory against the English. The English army who were under the command of King Edward II were driven out of Scotland.
Medieval Battles & Wars – The Battle of Crecy
The hundred year war that lasted longer than 100 years! Was a battle that was intriguing because it was a battle of two forces with differing strengths, the French had a greater number of soldiers, but the English had the better armour and weapons.
The English defeated the French in the Battle of Crecy which proved that small army with better equipment could beat a much larger army.
Medieval Battles & Wars – The Battle of Falkirk
The battle of Falkirk fought in the year 1298 AD between King Edward I of England and to William Wallace of Scotland the famous Scottish warrior depicted in many Hollywood movies.
This was just one war of many wars between the English and Scots who were fighting for their independence from the English. The Battle of Falkirk won by the English and was the great victory for Edward I who had a much larger army than the Scots.
Medieval Battles & Wars – The Battle of Hastings
It is no wonder Britain became a battle hardened nation as the British Isles was being constantly invaded throughout the course of the medieval period by Danes, Saxons and Vikings etc.
However in 1066 it was the turn of the French to invade when William the Duke of Normandy landed at Pevensey in Sussex, bringing with him a massive army of around 8000 men, a fleet of ships and hundreds of battle ready horses. King William (William the Conqueror) and his army needed food and water when they arrived and they set off quickly to gather refreshments and supplies heading rapidly towards Hastings in Sussex.
The Battle of Hastings commenced early in the morning on October the 14th in 1066, King William had marched his troops some distance from the north of Hastings to engage the English army of King Harold, King Harold’s army were deployed on Senlac Hill which is also known interestingly as the town of Battle.
The Battle of Hastings Begins
The battle of Hastings was a brutal and hard fought affair and history tells us that it was a very close run thing. William was the first to attack with his cavalry and infantry, William’s thought his troops would have the upper hand by attacking first but Harold’s army decided to take up a defensive position, which was common for English armies who usually never attacked first.
King Harold’s troops all fought on foot behind a shielded wall, this proved to be a very effective against the Normans and they found it very difficult to break this English defensive stronghold. Eventually However William did breach the defensive wall that the English army had set up and attacked in waves with his cavalry.
The Battle of Hastings was a hard fought battle that lasted a long time and there were several reversals of fortune, both sides had the opportunity to win the battle. Eventually the French managed to kill King Harold after which the English army began to fall apart and became dysfunctional, this gave the French army of King William the opportunity they had been looking for, a chance to defeat the English.
The death of King Harold in the Battle of Hastings was the ultimate turning point of the battle and as his armies fell into disarray William’s cavalry attacked viciously in waves killing many English soldiers. The English army started to flee and attempted to stop King William’s French army as they fled northwards towards the woods of the weald but it was not to be.
William the Conquerors defeat of the English army in the Battle of Hastings was one of his greatest victories and England and it led to England being under the control of the French and an oppressive foreign aristocracy.
Medieval Battles & Wars – Battle of Halidon Hill
The second war of Scottish independence was fought in 1333 AD in the Battle of Haidon Hill, however in this battle the Scottish were defeated by the English who were led by King Edward III who had his revenge for the previous defeat.
Medieval Battles & Wars – Battle of Liegnitz, Legnica or Wahlstatt
Henry the Pious of Silesia was able to put together a coalition of forces from several European countries in 1241 to fight the battle of Liegnitz against the invading forces of the Mongol Empire led by Baidar, Orda Khan, and Kadan.
Although Henry’s army was much larger in number and was estimated to be around double the size of the Mongol armies, Henry’s army was still defeated and this was a massive below for the European army.
Medieval Battles & Wars – Battle of Northallerton
The Battle of Northallerton took place in 1138, this was a battle between the English and the Scottish who were led by King David I it was part of the two battles that took place during the Civil War of Matilda and Stephen.
The Battle of Northallerton also known as the Battle of standard was a brutal and bloody affair, The Scottish Army led by King David mounted an early surprise attack in foggy conditions, however the English had prepared for the attack and this actually took the Scottish by surprise.
The Scottish who started to flee just a few hours into the Battle despite their larger army as the English armies’ powerful weaponry decimated the Scottish soldiers leaving many dead on the battlefield.
However, the conquering English were unable to take up the total execution of the shattered enemy forces. If they had been able to follow through and kill the armies as they fled, it could have destroyed the Scottish army.
Medieval Battles & Wars – Battle of Shrewsbury
The Battle of Shrewsbury took place in 1403 close to the centre of Shrewsbury at battlefield church. King Henry V went into battle against a mutineer army led by Henry Percy, this was a battle of rebellion in which Henry Percy was defeated and killed and it all took place near the centre of Shrewsbury in England.