Hastings was not simply the site of a battle. It was the place where the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms disintegrated alongside the nobles, the culture and the language. It was the end of Dark Age England.
There were rewards, of course, for all those who welcomed the new Norman ways. They could join the society and be part of the feudal system. Babies were no longer named Ethelred, Godwin or Wulfhere but William, Robert and Richard. The new French England.
Every child is taught about the Battle of Hastings in 1066. I'm not sure they all see the significance. It was the end of the Dark Ages in England. Doesn't get any more significant than that.
Professor Robert Bartlett explains the battle. From the BBC programme The Normans.