A Catastrophic 14th Century: Plantagenets IV

Ref: C2227092

A tumultuous century where truth is stranger than fiction. Drama, intrigue, rivalry, treachery, deviancy, pestilence, famine, and the overthrow of a king. Conflicts that pitted sons against fathers and wives against husbands; Over-mighty subjects including de Montfort, Gaveston and Despenser as well as strong, powerful queens like Eleanor of Provence, Eleanor of Castile and the ‘She-Wolf,’ Isabella of France. Ignored and mostly unknown to most people, this was the calamitous Plantagenet century, 1250 – 1351.

Course aim

This course explains some of the forces of change in Plantagenet England and seeks to develop and extend knowledge and understanding of the period between 1250 and 1350

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • To develop an interest in and enthusiasm for history and an understanding of its intrinsic value and significance eg can we learn any lessons for our current political situation from a study of the Plantagent European empire?
  • To develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past and investigate them critically using a range of sources eg how reliable ar contemporary chronicles as evidence of the past?
  • To actively engage in the process of historical enquiry to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers
  • To draw parallels with the past seeing their relevance in the modern world eg the xenophobia of England in the 13th-century compared with our world today.
  • To assess the significance of individuals, events, developments and ideas from the past eg the relative merits of the kingship of Henry III compared to Edward II

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There will be suggestions for further/advanced study but these are not compulsory and not pursuing them will not hinder progress, understanding or enjoyment of the course.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

A Catastrophic 14th Century: Plantagenets IV

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This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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