Britain's Untold History: Events That Deserve to be Better Known

Ref: C3744265

History is written by the winners, so it's no surprise that there are many events that are overlooked, downplayed or simply forgotten about. This course is a chance to explore lesser known events in British history, ranging from the Great Cheese Riot of 1766 to an alleged plot to assassinate the Prime Minister in 1917 to the nineteenth-century suppression of the Welsh language. Each session will look at an event or movement in British history that is often overlooked or rarely talked about. Some will be more obscure than others. In each case, we will look at key questions about the event or movement and consider its consequences. We'll then ask how (and if) we should remember it today. Throughout the course we'll be coming back to a key question for our understanding of history: why are some events remembered and others forgotten?

Course aim

To explore aspects of British history that are often overlooked, particularly those that challenged the establishment or dominant views. To consider why these events and movements are not better known, and to ask whether they should be.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • If you have previously studied history, your previous learning may be helpful. If you have not, the course should still be accessible to you.

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

  • Summarise the basic aspects of several overlooked events or movements in British history, describing at least one of them in detail.
  • Discuss various views about why some events and movements in British history are relatively unknown.
  • Make an argument for or against the idea that a particular event or movement studied during the course should be better known.

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?

  • 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 have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • You may find it helpful to bring a notebook and pen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • During the course, the tutor will suggest further reading for those who are interested and have time, but this further reading is not essential to the course.

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
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Britain's Untold History: Events That Deserve to be Better Known


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

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