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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Teachers Notes

Using this Unit

The unit has been design to allow the children to explore Tudor life in Durham. Much of this exploration focuses on creating a character. As part of the project, these characters were used for role play activities when the children visit Beamish. In a classroom situation, you might like to hold a debate on whether to join the North Rebellion or create your own role play situations. Some suggestions are included in the 'Suggested Activities' section. A character booklet, for children to fill in as their character develops, can be downloaded here, or from the 'Tudor Character' section.

My Tudor Character (PDF, 36kb)

You might also like to give the children a christening date to look up on the character name transcript when they are finding their character names, rather than allowing them to pick their own.

Age of Pupils

This unit was designed for Key Stage 2, but there is nothing to stop pupils of other Key Stages working on the material.

Curriculum Links

This unit links well with Key Stage 2 History, QCA History Unit 8: ' What were the differences between the lives of rich and poor people in Tudor times?' and Unit 18: 'What was it like to live here in the past?'


Many of the answers to the questions asked in this unit are self-evident. However, for convenience the answers are given below:

Who Lived There? (Burials)

What was happening at the time? What do think the 'visitation' was, that would have killed all these people? The visitation referred to is the Plague, of which there was an outbreak in Durham at this time. The sick were moved out of the city and nursed in tents on Elvet Moor. The plague is also mentioned in the Hutchinson extract in the Northern Rebellion section.

Life for Poor People

Who are not to be 'suffered to begge there at doores'? Poor of other parishes 
What is to happen to vagrants? Whipped and sent to the parish of their birth

What is to happen to children? Be made apprentices

Northern Rebellion

How many people were executed in Durham? 66