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A selection of replica armour, weapons and artefacts from the Norman/Medieval period are available to handle and discuss. For younger groups, talks on castles are combined with time to play with some of the puppets that are available and spend time dressing up.


PS 1-5


KS 1-4


These sessions will be adapted to the age and needs of the children in the class. In general, a session will include:

  • Progression Steps 1 & 2/EYFS/KS1 – An introduction to castles and the people who lived in them. During the session, pupils will explore why castles were built, who lived in them and the sort of armour and weapons they used. Pupils will have the chance to handle and try on selected items from the handling collection including some plastic helmets at the end of the session and play with a selection of puppets.
  • Progression Step 2/KS2 – A more detailed talk about the lives of people in the medieval period, focussing on the armour and weapons in the handling collection and how they would have been used. All pupils will have the opportunity to handle and try on selected items.
  • Progression Step 4 & 5/KS3 & 4 – An overview of life in the area in the medieval times, from the arrival of the Normans through the medieval ownership of Cardiff Castle. Changes in armour and weapons during the period will be illustrated using the handling collection in the Education Centre and pupils will be given the chance to handle and try on selected items.
    The session is taken by the Education Officer who is DBS-checked.


The session will last for 60 minutes. For Foundation Phase/Key Stage 1 pupils and ALN groups, sessions can be shortened to suit the needs of the group. The guided tour of the Castle will last approximately 50 minutes. Teachers with younger children may choose a shorter tour (approximately 30 mins) which omits the spiral staircase to the top of one of the towers.

Key Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes and what is covered during sessions will depend on the age, needs and range of the pupils. However, by the end of the session, pupils of all ages will have:

  • Developed an understanding of the past/historical investigation.
  • Learnt the likely reasons for the Norman motte and bailey castle at Cardiff.
  • Learnt about the different types of solider in a medieval army.
  • Learnt how to safely handle artefacts with care and respect.
  • Learnt the difference between original and replica items.
  • Employed thinking skills and problem solving to work out the advantages and disadvantages of different types of armour and weapons.
  • Worked as a team and take it in turns as the group handles and tries on items from the collection.
Links to the National Curriculum


Humanities (PS1-5 – Wales)

  • Enquiry, exploration, and investigation inspire curiosity about the world, it’s past, present, and future.
  • Events and human experiences are complex and are perceived, interpreted, and represented in different ways.
  • Our natural world is diverse and dynamic, influenced by processes and human actions.

EYFS / KS1 (England)

  • Events beyond living memory

KS2 (England)

A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

KS3 (England)

  • How the coming of the Normans affected Wales and Britain between 1000 and 1500
  • The development of Church, state, and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509

What Else is Included in Your Visit

  • A guided tour of the House. The tour takes pupils to some of the highly decorated rooms that date from the Victorian period. The designs reflect the architect’s vision of how the interior of a medieval Castle would have been.
  • Use of the Audio Guide that has been written especially for children (downloadable in advance)
  • Access to areas of the Grounds including the Keep, the Battlements and Wartime Shelters
  • A Visit to Firing Line – Museum of the Welsh Soldier (Military Museum in the Interpretation Centre). Please note: Firing Line is independently managed, and any activities offered are not a part of Cardiff Castle’s Education Service. Visits may not be possible on certain days or may incur an additional charge.


029 2087 8110


Enquiry: The Normans / Medieval

Please let our Education Office know if you have any questions about the The Normans / Medieval workshop.