The town of Caen in Normandy was one of Duke William’s principal bases where he built a huge castle and two monasteries. William’s preparations for war made not far away on the banks of the River Dives are vividly shown on the Bayeux Tapestry.
In his army William had his own followers alongside groups of mercenary knights, many of whom were Breton, Flemish and French. They were trained to fight on foot and, unlike the English, on horseback. They were also skilled in building what are known as known as motte and bailey castles.
William took seven months to prepare his invasion force, using about sixhundred transport ships to