The harrying of the north. Two years after William the Conqueror defeated King Harold at Hastings, the north of England rose up against him. In a savage episode, William relentlessly devastated the countryside and slaughtered its inhabitants. From Look and Learn 883 (16 December 1978).
Now in paperback, the second novel in James Aitcheson’s breathtaking trilogy of the Norman Conquest of England sweeps readers into William the Conqueror's brutal campaign known as the Harrying of the North.
In 1069 William the Conqueror had put down a rebellion at York which was followed by his "harrying of the North" - an act of ethnic cleansing which depopulated large areas for a generation or more. As a further punishment, he divided up the lands of north Yorkshire among his most loyal followers. Alan Rufus, of Brittany, received the borough of Richmond and began constructing the castle to defend against further rebellions and to establish a personal power base.