In pictures: medieval battles

From the Norman Conquest to the Crusades; the Hundred Years’ War to the Wars of the Roses, the Middle Ages were plagued by bloody battles and violent sieges...

The medieval period witnessed a great advancement in military tactics, with the powerful longbow and the trebuchet becoming prominent weapons on the battlefield. 


Here, we round up some of the best depictions of medieval battles…


A detail from the Bayeux tapestry, showing knights in battle. The 11th-century French tapestry depicts the battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror’s Norman invasion of England in 1066.

(DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Battle during First Crusade (People's Crusade), 1096-1099, (c1490). Foreground: mounted knights unhorsed and killed. Centre: melee of hand-to-hand fighting with, on left, man wielding two-sided battleaxe or bipennis. Right background: reinforcements streaming out of city gates. Peter The Hermit (c1050-c1115) was popularly credited with instigating first crusade but his role was not as significant as medieval historians claimed. Detail from Passages fait Outremer. (Photo by Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Mounted knights are unhorsed and killed during hand-to-hand fighting in this 15th-century depiction of a battle during the First Crusade, c1096–99. 

(Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)


A 13th-century stained glass window from Soissons Cathedral, Picardy. This detail shows the invasion of Rheims by the Vandals.

(DeAgostini/Getty Images)

A4JY7H Siege of Antioch c1097 14th century

A 14th-century image of the siege of Antioch, 1097-98. The Muslim-held city (located in modern-day Turkey) came under attack during the First Crusade.

(The Print Collector/Alamy Stock Photo)


Image from around 1275 showing a knight of the crusades kneeling in homage. His elaborate helmet is being held above his head.

(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The battle between the Crusaders and Saracens. Miniature from the Historia by William of Tyre, 1460s. Found in the collection of the Bibliothèque de Genève. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

A portrayal of a battle between crusaders and Saracens in the 12th century. From the Historia, a manuscript from around the 1460s, by the prelate and chronicler William of Tyre. 

(Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)


A knight of the Knights Templar charges into battle. From a late 12th-century fresco in the Chapel of the Templars, Cressac sur Charente, France.

(DeAgostini/Getty Images)


Drawing depicting crusaders attacking a Moorish castle, date unknown.

(Leemage/UIG via Getty Images) 


A war elephant crushing an enemy soldier during the Second Crusade. From a 15th-century fresco in St Cassian Cathedral, Brixen, Italy.

(DeAgostini/Getty Images)

BFWE53 English squadron attacks and defeats French squadron at anchor at Sluys, June 24, 1340, facsimile of miniature from...

The English defeat the French at the battle of Sluys in 1340. The sea-battle was one of the opening conflicts of the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453).

(The Art Archive/Alamy Stock Photo)

The conquest of Jerusalem, depicted in a miniature. From a 12th to 13th-century French bible from the Abbey of Mont Saint Eloi.

(DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The battle of Crécy (1346), which was a significant victory for the English during the Hundred Years’ War. This image was found in the 14th-century Chronicles of Jean Froissart.

(Photo12/UIG/Getty Images)

Depiction of a naval battle, from around 1340. Found in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

(Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

The battle of Agincourt in 1415. Depicted in a miniature from a 15th-century English manuscript.

(Heritage Image Partnership Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

The battle of Nancy in 1477, as depicted in the memoires of Philippe de Commynes (1445–1511).


(DEA/G Dagli Orti/De Agostini/Getty Images)