History KS3: What was life like in the court of Elizabeth I?

Ian Mortimer starts his journey at Hampton Court, one of twenty royal residences inherited by Elizabeth I.

Here he discovers that appearance played a vital role at court helping to denote a person's social status, and whether they were of sufficient importance and wealth to be granted an audience with the Queen.

He then retraces Elizabeth's royal progresses around the country and uncovers evidence that increasing numbers of people were becoming richer, and using their new found wealth to build their own manor houses.

A visit from the monarch and her vast entourage would be a mixed blessing, the ultimate privilege and confirmation of the highest social status, but also ruinously expensive.

This short film is from the BBC series, Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could study Hardwick Hall using this short film and additional photographs to identify the features that were designed to demonstrate the wealth and sophistication of the owner.

Pupils could use the evidence presented in this film, along with additional sources, to plan a programme of events for a visit from Elizabeth I and her entourage, including a dinner menu.

Curriculum Notes

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

More from Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England:

To what extent was life changing in Elizabethan England?
What was life like for the rural poor in Elizabethan England?
What was life like for the poor in the towns of Elizabethan England?
Who were the rich in Elizabethan England?
Why was London the centre of the Elizabethan world?