History KS3: Building a medieval castle

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Tom Pinfold and Peter Ginn explore medieval castle building on site at the modern-day reconstruction project of Guédelon Castle in France.

The film showcases medieval materials, techniques and skills.

Many of the tools would be recognisable to modern builders: wooden rollers, the treadmill winch, compasses, a chisel and wedge, and plumb lines for accurate measurement.

This clip is from the BBC Two series, Secrets of the Castle.

Teacher Notes

In groups, pupils could view the piece, before they construct their own model castle.

The steps are outlined:
1) design (selecting features to include)
2) plan the tasks
3) allocate tasks within the group
4) build
5) reflect on what went well and what may have gone even better in the project (from teamwork to materials used).

Curriculum Notes

This series is suitable for teaching history at Key Stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 3rd Level in Scotland.

More from Secrets of the Castle:

Medieval daily life
Inside a medieval castle
Medieval trades and skills
Medieval warfare
The medieval world