• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'The greatest change the Normans brought was a transformation of the English church.' How far do you agree with this judgement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Fiona Cook 'The greatest change the Normans brought was a transformation of the English church.' How far do you agree with this judgement? The reform of the English church was a major change brought about by the Normans following their victory over the English in 1066. However, the Normans introduced many other changes to English society. This essay will explore some of those changes and offer an alternative view of what was the greatest change. In 1070, a few years after the Norman Conquest, William started on his reform of the English church. One of his first moves was to replace the Archbishop of Canterbury by Lanfranc. Lanfranc was the Abbott of St. Stephen's in Caen. He had gained favour with William by being influential in persuading Pope Alexander II to support the Norman invasion of England. The English clergy did not impress Lanfranc and he supported William's policy of promoting foreigners to high office in the Church. It was Lanfranc who implemented the rule that priests could not marry. He replaced English with Latin as the language in which Church services were to be conducted. What ever William wanted, he could make happen through Lanfranc as Lanfranc was greatly respected by the English. ...read more.

Middle

The church allowed William to communicate with his people and get a hold on society. It was also a place where French and English could congregate too. However the church did not help William in terms of keeping control over the whole country, military wise, and it did not assure his continued sovereignty. When it came down too it, William's priority was keeping control of his throne, and alone, the church could not do this. Therefore it is probable to say that his success did not come from the feudalisation of the church alone, and was more to do with other issues. His success did not come from the church alone, and in my view was more to do with other changes. Castles, like churches, were buildings that formed the focal point of their community. The castles were placed where threatened Normans could retreat, while simultaneously holding a good defensive position. These castles contributed to William's success, as rebellions often occurred. William was often away from England. In 1074, for example, William spent most of his time in Normandy, suggesting he had confidence in his authority over the English. It could also suggest that at this time, the English were fairly content with his rule. ...read more.

Conclusion

The only places where Earls owned large amounts of land were in Wales and Northern England where attack was a reduced possibility. This shows how carefully thought out William's strategy was. It also suggests that the security of the lands contributed to eliminating rebellion, linking in with the building of castles. It is not easy to determine which was the greatest change brought to England by the Norman conquerors, as all of the changes mentioned above were significant ones. It is arguable that the church was the most significant change William brought to England, as it generally 'won over the people.' However, in my opinion, the transformation of the church did not have the same impact as that made by the construction of castles as it was these that secured William's reign. The people of England were very religious, and the church did help to unite the Anglo Saxons and Normans, but the impact of the castles went much wider: it stimulated the growth and economic prosperity of castle towns and provided levels of defence, without which, it is unlikely that William would have stayed in power for so long. In my view, the change to English society brought by these castles was therefore more important than the changes brought by the transformation of the Church. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. Free essay

    "The Roman Catholic Church gained more from the Lateran Pacts than did the government ...

    The existence of these two tools was a great success for the Roman Catholic Church as they could continue to indoctrinate people to support Catholicism.

  2. Do you agree that the Church in England was in need of considerable reform ...

    The relations between priests and people were neither particularly close nor particularly strained. The rights claimed by the clergy did indeed give rise to murmurings and complaints in certain quarters, but these were neither so serious nor so general as to indicate anything like a deep- rooted and sharp division between priests and people.

  1. "Calvin's success in Geneva was due to the organisation and disciplineOf the movement rather ...

    Although Calvin's ideas and beliefs were very important and made an impact, Geneva never became a theocracy though its organisation, which reflected a strong clerical influence and Calvin's personality made it seem like one. When Calvin returned to Geneva in 1541 he presented to the council his plan for a re-organised church which was the Ecclesiastical ordinances of 1541.

  2. "Too much time and money is being spent on church buildings" Is this fair?

    The pews in the church are very comfortable and they can be moved for repositioning. The choir then stand to the right of the pulpit at the front to help carry out the church service. On the floor is carpet which makes my church that bit more welcoming.

  1. "Christians cannot justify spending so much on Church Buildings, when the world has more ...

    When there is no permanent home in either case, the family tends to fall apart. On the other hand however, many people agree with all of the above, but view it that there are other more urgent needs in the world, such as poverty and starvation; more important than a 'building'.

  2. "Saltaire was solely built for the workers." How far does the examination of the ...

    However he was still determined that he could spin the wool. He was so convinced that he would not fail that he rented Thompsons mill and he managed to prove everyone wrong. Titus had entered the spinning business. In 1836 Titus made another mistake that eventually made him a richer man.

  1. How useful are the secondary sources provided in understanding Medieval Monasticism compared with the ...

    I understand that many abbeys at this time were similar, and for this reason, although it is not an illustration of Fountains Abbey it's useful when studying the actual church at Fountains due to it showing labels and positions of particular sections of a church.

  2. The Church - The burden of being a fair-minded Archbishop.

    The Archbishop, if anything, sees too clearly the problems of both sides. He knows that to the outside world in the West the Anglican Church looks absurd in its tortured machinations over homosexuality, an issue most modern Westerners long ago resolved.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work