Pastimes and Leisure from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century

Ref: C2225698

This course uses written and pictorial sources, and evidence from the built environment, to explore the development and social significance of leisure activities over the last six hundred years. The course aims to develop interest in,and understanding of, this aspect of social and landscape history and, by relating it to local examples, to encourage individual or group study and research.

Course aim

This course traces 'passing the time' from miracle plays and hawking to football, the cinema, and self-improvement, with a view to encouraging understanding of local history and enhancing interest in your surroundings.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in history with a local emphasis

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

  • Use pictorial evidence, landscape and the built environment, and source materials, to identify and develop knowledge of pastimes and leisure activities from the middle ages to the 20th century
  • Examine the reasons for, and the impact of, the development of seaside resorts from the 18th to the 20th centuries
  • Consider the impact of changing pastimes on the urban landscape
  • Formulate ideas on the social impact of leisure activities and their effects on different social groups
  • Be able to participatein discussion on the reasons for and results of self-improvement activities in the 19th and 20th centuries

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

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

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
  • A list of books will be provided for the branch, who will arrange for a selection to be available for borrowing

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could undertake individual research, or be part of a group undertaking a local history project. Interest and experience in using original materials might encourage you to take a course in palaeography in order to pursue your interest further.

Download full course information sheet

Pastimes and Leisure from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century


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 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing