The Ruined Castle

Author(s): Tim Taylor & from the original idea by Luke Abbott

Theme: Castles

Main Curriculum Focus
To develop a chronological understanding of history during the medieval period.
To understand the role of castles in medieval society.
To develop knowledge about castles – purpose, design, architecture, role in society, defences, trade, etc.
To develop knowledge about the people who lived and worked in castles – their roles, their routines, features of their lives.
To use, apply, and develop knowledge and skills from different areas of the curriculum to create and develop the context.

Inquiry Question
"Why were castles built?
How were they designed?
What effect did a castle have on the local community?
Who lived in castles?
How was life organised inside a castle?
How did armies attack a castle?
How did the people inside the castle protect themselves?
How do historians investigate the history of castles?"

Expert Team: Castle Restoration

Client(s): Owner of a ruined castle

1. To make an assessment of the castle and make it a safe space to work in.
2. To restore the castle – not to rebuild it, but to make it somewhere for people to visit and learn about the castle’s history.
3. To investigate the history of the castle – the people who built it, the people who lived there, events – good and bad.
4. To make the history of the castle accessible to visitors and to give them a background to the history of castles and their place in medieval history.


The owner of a ruined castle calls in a restoration team to restore the castle and make it safe for visitors.
The Team set to work – first making it safe to work in and then to repair and restore it. As they work, they discover signs of the people who once occupied the castle, these are ‘bridges’ into the past – signs of how the castle was used and the events (good and bad) that happened during its long history.

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