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A Level history Durham Castle 1 2023Our second year A-Level History students visited Durham Castle for a bespoke tour. The very knowledgeable guide showed the group all areas of the castle, including those that pre-date the Tudor period, such as the Norman chapel.

Jo Marriott, A-Level Tutor, said:

“This was a great experience for our history students. The Norman chapel is so spectacular it couldn’t be missed, the tour guide was very engaging and provided the group with a great insight into Durham’s past.”

Other areas were not only built in the time of the Reformation but by a Catholic bishop who – amazingly – survived the whole Tudor period.

The Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall exhibition allowed the students to take in the story and artefacts of a local influential Tudor Bishop.

A Level history Durham Castle 2 2023A particular highlight of the trip was the Bishop Cosin library which is part of Palace Green. Although built after 1669, the library holds pamphlets written by Henry the VIII in defence of the Catholic faith, before the Reformation. This allowed the group to fully explore the complexities of the topic of the Reformation.

Following this was the archives at Palace Green. After an amusing and informative lecture on Reformation History with Paddy, the group were tasked with investigating some of the resources as well as having the opportunity to interpret some old handwriting, becoming palaeography experts.

The students agreed the experience deepened their understanding of Reformation History and allowed them to develop a greater understanding of how historians really study the past.