History KS3: Medieval warfare

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Tom Pinfold and Peter Ginn help demonstrate different methods of attacking and defending a medieval castle.

They assess the strengths and weaknesses of the trebuchet, spears, crossbows and arrow loops.

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

Teacher Notes

Ask your pupils to try and identify military features from this video before recognising them in contemporary medieval sources.

Then they may devise in pairs, plans of castle attack and defence.

If possible, a visit to a local castle might be a useful follow up to explore primary evidence and local history.

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:

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