Image: illustration of a medieval marketplace

Medieval Life

Welcome to our guide to medieval life, where you can learn about England’s history, discover more about our sites and find loads of fun things to watch, read and do! Here's what we've got in store for you:

Discover medieval homes from history

Homes through History Episode 3: Step inside a Medieval Merchant’s House

What was life like in medieval England?

Step into Mistress Fortin's house and wine shop in the busy Southampton merchants’ quarter in this video to find out. Watch as she answers questions from young English Heritage Members, and discover what daily life was like in the 14th century.

Click the links below to discover more homes from history and build your own model street thorough time. 

More homes through history

What was Medieval Medicine Like?

Are your humours balanced? Do you need a hole in the head? Watch this video to find out the truth about medieval medicine.

Things to make and do: get creative with our medieval themed activities

Image: a square pie with battlement style crusts

Make a magnificent medieval pie

Pies were a popular way for rich medieval people to enjoy their favourite meat and poultry. They were often flavoured with expensive spices, which showed dinner guests how wealthy their hosts were.

Have your own medieval banquet at home with our recipe to create a delicious pie with a crust shaped like castle battlements. Don’t forget to ask an adult to help you, and you’ll be feasting like a lord or lady in no time!

Download the recipe

    Design and build a medieval castle out of cardboard!  Watch our video to get inspired and find out how it’s done, then follow our step-by-step instructions to build your own castle model.


    Dress up as a knight in shining armour with our step-by-step guide to creating your own helmet fit for a courageous castle siege! To get started, click the image and follow the instructions. 

  • Make Stokesay's South Tower

    Find out about the wealthy wool merchant who built Stokesay Castle, then use our template to create your own version of Stokesay Castle’s impressive South Tower!

  • Design your own coat of arms

    Learn about the history of coats of arms including who had them, why they were used and what they looked like, before following our instructions to design your own!

  • Plant a monastic herb garden

    Find out why gardens were so important to monastic life, then have a go at planting your own mini monastic herb garden in a pot.

  • Make Cleeve Abbey's Gatehouse

    Discover the story of the medieval monastery at Cleeve Abbey, before building your very own model of its impressive gatehouse.

  • Design your illuminated initials

    Find out how the beautiful letters that feature in manuscripts created by medieval monks and nuns were created, then design your own illuminated initials!

  • More things to make and do

    Browse our best ideas and get hands-on and crafty with history. From model historical homes to costumes and coats of arms, there’s plenty to try!

Games: challenge your family and friends!

  • The fate of Carlisle Castle is in your hands! Challenge a friend or family member to a race around the board. Can you be the first player to collect all the trebuchet pieces, break through the castle’s gatehouse, reach the keep and win? 

  • Can you win this monastic version of snakes and ladders? If you land on a ladder, follow it to the space above. But if you land on a snake, follow it down. Download a board, spinner and 3D players to play.

Quiz time!

Could you run a medieval castle, or live like a Carthusian monk? Take our fun quizzes to find out whether you have what it takes, and whether your ideal job would be a lord, lady, steward, soldier or jester. Plus, test your knowledge of castles on our Kings of the Castles page!

Find out more...

Explore more of medieval England on our monasteries and castles pages, with themed videos, online Kids Rule! magazine issues to read, and lots of things to make and do. 

Download a medieval poster!

We've created a series of posters showing how people lived in England through the ages, like this one showing life in a medieval town and one below with a medieval monastery. If you're feeling creative, why not download our blank sheets and colour your own posters using pencils, pens or paints.

Each of the historical posters follow on from each other, so that when you download them all you can create your own mega timeline of English history!

Download your poster
'step into englands story