The Battle of Hastings in 1066 is probably a date that 99% of the population know off by heart. But many would probably wonder what the significance of the battle is today.
This battle and subsequent 'fusion' of the Anglo-Saxon and Franco-Latin languages created a wide and rich vocabulary - this is why we have different words for something that means pretty much the same thing (for example, fatherly and paternal). The 100 Years' War (1337-1453) may never have happened, and the relationship between France and England would have been completely different. Close ties between the Scottish Kings and the Normans continued for centuries, meaning that the present royal family would have been very different. Shakespeare's plays would probably have been closer to c16th Dutch or German than what it is today. And without the conquest, would there ever have been a United Kingdom?
Really interesting article in The Telegraph!