Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Learning resource provided by National Civil War Centre

This resource introduces children to siege warfare and the effect of The British Civil Wars on civilians everywhere. The activities can be used flexibly as single lessons or to resource longer historical enquiries. A range of fiction and non fiction text types could be used in literacy lessons.

Curriculum Links

  • KS3 History: Development of church, state, and society in Britain (1509 – 1745): causes and events of the civil wars, the Interregnum, and the Restoration.
  • KS4 History: Thematic Early Modern British history

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources
  • Discover the effect of civil war on small communities everywhere by examining real archive material.



A series of downloadable resources are available to accompany each of the activities below (see 'Resources' section):

  • 2.2 Besiege a Garrison
    Learn about siege warfare and plan an attack on Basing House
  • 2.3 Siege Objects
    Examine museum objects using 3D scans, primary sources, a fictional account and a specially commissioned film
  • 2.4 What did Ordinary People Lose?
    Discover the effect of civil war on small communities everywhere by examining real archive material


Further Reading

  • John Barratt, Sieges of the English Civil Wars (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2009)
  • Jessie Childs, The Siege of Loyalty House: A Civil War Story (London: Bodley Head, 2022)
  • Barbara Donagan, War in England 1642-1649 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Stuart Jennings, ‘These Uncertaine Times’: Newark and the Civilian Experience of Civil Wars (Nottingham: Nottinghamshire County Council, 2009)
  • Peter Young and Wilfrid Emberton, Sieges of the Great Civil War (London: Bell & Hyman, 1978)