British Middle Ages Study Program

The British Middle Ages Study Program covers the fifth to seventeenth century in the British Isles. The period includes histories of Saxon England, the Norman Conquest, the Plantagenet, Tudor, and Stuart kings, and concludes with the English Civil War. The British Middle Ages program is part of the Heritage Classical Curriculum and includes:

See the Heritage Curriculum FAQs page for more information.

Why Study the British Middle Ages?

British History is both fascinating and instructive. Stories of its legendary heroes and champions, from King Arthur to Francis Drake, are popular with students of all ages. The English Reformation and Civil War periods provide important background for studying the colonial history and founding of the United States. The founders of the United States were British in culture and outlook, and American traditions of religious freedom and self-government date back to their English roots.

Understanding the British Middle Ages is also important background for later study of the British Empire. The "Glorious Revolution" of the late Stuart period established Parliament as a legitimate law-making authority and knowledge of the prior history of the Kings and Parliament is necessary background for understanding later developments. The central banks, trading companies, and industrial innovations of Britain dominated the global economy in the 18th and 19th centuries, and they too are rooted in English history.

Finally, the in depth study of the British Middle Ages is an effective way to learn about many important themes of Medieval history. Almost all the important events of the Middle Ages, such as the Germanic conquest of Roman, the rise of Christendom, the Viking Age, Feudalism, and the Crusades can be understood by seeing them as part of the formation of medieval England.

Reading Recommendations

The Heritage British Library includes dozens of student histories that cover English history at all reading levels. PDF, EPUB and online versions of all books are available so they can be downloaded read on any device. The two we recommend as 'core' reading selections for the first six units (Early Britain to Stuart Era) are:

Reading recommendations for units 7 and 8 are short histories that focus primarily on Scotland and Ireland.

There are many excellent supplemental texts for advanced students in the British Middle Ages collection, especially among the biographies. Particularly interesting biographies in the collection include:

The following links provide more information about reading options for the British Middle Ages.


Study Aids are provided to help students review important characters and events. Some resources relate to all of British history and others to specific historical eras.

Historical Maps Outline Maps
Timeline Major Characters
Wars and Battles Era Summaries

Historical Divisions

Review Questions

Students who are using the Heritage Quest Quiz Game to study British Middle Ages may find these sample questions helpful. They can use the Quiz Game App to find answers or complete the worksheet as a homework assignment.

Early Britain Saxons and Normans
Early Plantagenets Lancasters and Yorks
Tudors and Reformation Stuarts and Civil War
Scotland Ireland

Download History Quest program from Android or Apple App Stores to review study questions interactively.