History KS3: Why was London the centre of the Elizabethan world?

Ian Mortimer travels around the capital and visits the sights that were the most significant, including the Tower of London, the River Thames, London Bridge, and the Globe Theatre.

In the hustle and bustle of city streets, he uncovers a world of extreme contrasts; great wealth and poverty, magnificent buildings, theatres, slums and disease.

He finds that as today, London was a centre of international trade, a place of new ideas and opportunities to make money.

The Elizabethans were prepared to put up with the overcrowding, filth and unbearable smells to be part of this great city.

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

Teacher Notes

Pupils could take on the role of Elizabethan tour guides and produce a tourist itinerary for sixteenth century London.

They could also suggest the improvements needed to make sixteenth century London a healthier place to live in for both rich and poor.

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 in the court of Elizabeth I?
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?