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Year 8 Revision Guide

Below are the key areas that need to be revised. Beside each is a list of the key questions that you need to know for this unit. Go through each of the questions and see if you know the answers. If you are unsure about some of the answers you should go to your notes, your textbooks or borrow some of the books from the class library. Also included are a selection of  interactive games and PowerPoint presentations that will help with your revision.


Key area

You should know the answer to the following key questions.

Interactive activities/ powerpoint presentations that you might use when revising this topic:

 Why was there a succession crisis in England?










Why did Edward the Confessor’s death cause a crisis about the throne of England?


Who were the different claimants who wanted the throne of England?

  • William of Normandy
  • Harold Godwin
  • Harald Hardrada
  • Prince Edgar


What were the positive and negative reasons for each of the claimants coming to the throne?

Why did the Witan Council decide to chose Harold Godwin?


Learn about the crisis through Power Point

(Right Click the link and "Save target as")

Play a game about the claimants to the throne


Harold invades England



The Normans invade England




The Battle of Hastings.






The Normans control England:

a)     Feudal system

Illustration depicting the structure of the Feudal System, the King is at the top with the Crown and the Church in charge. The Barons are below them, then their knights and at the bottom are the freemen and serfs.



b) Castles










Life in a Medieval village.





Towns in the Middle Ages

The Church in the Middle Ages



The Black Death




Peasants’ revolt



The Normans in Ireland:

Ireland before the Normans



Was Dermot McMurrough responsible for bringing the Normans to Ireland?












What were the key events at the Battle of Stamford Bridge?






Why did William decide to invade?

What plans did William make for invasion?

When did William’s army arrive in England?

Where did they set up there camp in preparation for battle?

Why were Harold Godwin’s army tired by the time they reached Hastings?


What were the similarities between the Normans and the Saxons at Hastings?

What were the key events at Hastings?

Why did the Normans win? Think about the following:

  • The tactics used by the Normans
  • The death of Harold Godwin
  • Armour and number of trained men.
  • Harold’s men were tired after Hastings







What was the feudal system?

Why did the Normans introduce this system in England?






Why did the Normans build castles?

What did the Normans think about when siting a castle?

Motte and Bailey castles:

What were they like?

What were their key features?

What were they like to live in?

Were they easily attacked and why?

Stone castles:

How did castles change?

What new features were added and why?

What were concentric castles?


Defending and attacking castles.

What methods were used when attacking castles?

What features did the Normans have in their castles that made them harder to attack?

What weapons were used in attacking and defending castles?


Living in the castle.

What was life like for the Lord and his family living in the castle?








How did the life of a peasant differ from that of a noble?

What was life like for the peasants? Think about:

  • Life in the village

  • Cruckhouses

  • Clothes

  • Food

  • Work

  • Crime and punishment


How and where did towns grow up?

What was life like in towns? (hazards, markets, trades, charter, guilds etc.)




Why was the Church so powerful?

What role did the priests and the church play in the local area?

What were the monastery buildings like?

What was life like for monks and nuns?




What caused the Black Death?

What were the effects of the Black Death?






Why did the peasants revolt and what were the results of their actions?







Differences between Irish and English.

Main aspects of Irish society.











Why did Dermot MacMurrough bring the Normans to Ireland in 1169?








"Walk with the Normans"







Learn with Power Point about the Battle of Hastings


Play a game and beat your teacher



















An interactive castle!


Cool site about castles


An interactive castle


Trebuchets and other armaments


Learn all about castles


Another Castles Game















































A Ghoulish Game! The Black Death...





What was it like for the peasants?




















Interactive Norman Ireland


Why did the Normans come to Ireland?



Henry’s arrival in Ireland.



John De Courcy




Norman legacy





Why did Dermot go looking for help in 1166?


Why did Henry II help? (Think about how his arrival in Ireland could help the Normans and Henry II.)

Where did each of the sections of Normans land and what did they do when they landed?





Why did Henry come in person to Ireland?

Why was Strongbow causing him some concern?



Who was De Courcy?

What did he do in Ulster?

Why was he so unpopular with the King?







How did the Normans change society?

Think about ideas like those below: