Defenders of our country

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Royalty, relics and ruins – take your class on a journey to discover the hidden history of castles


Castles offer a huge wealth of teaching and learning opportunities. From small lumps and bumps in a field, to grand castles such as Dover, the sites speak volumes about the history of the locality, and provide an air of mystery and intrigue that will appeal to children.

It’s likely that the children in your class will have an image in their head of what a castle looks like – from a romantic ideal of a Disney-type castle, to a picture book castle they are familiar with. But, for those that have never seen or visited one, the reality can sometimes be surprisingly different. The materials they are made from, the drawbridges, turrets, mottes, and even the atmosphere, will awaken the senses and draw the children in.

The activities that follow are based on work that can be carried out in the classroom and on a school visit to a castle in your local area.

Telling a tale

The preponderance of castles reflects the turmoil of British history over the last 2000 years. Castles often occupy sites which were originally built on during the Iron Age or by the Romans. After all, a good defensive site is a good defensive site!

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