Defence of the Realm

Ref: C2228271

This course charts the physical and documentary evidence of warfare and defence in East Anglia from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20t century, and its effects on the lives of the region's inhabitants. We look at evidence of defence from castles and fortified houses to walled towns and Martello Towers, and the involvement of all classes of people, from generals and admirals to the ordinary men mustering with their pikes and muskets. East Anglia's position made it a prime target for invasion and an area of off-shore naval activity, and each event involved East Anglians both in action and on shore. Others took part in imperial expansion and international wars. Rebellion and civil war took its toll on everyday life and personal relationships. Town records, account books, diaries, letters, memorials and buildings all tell their stories, and it is through these that we can bring this topic to life.

Course aim

Castles and walled towns, rebellion and civil war, invasions and sea battles - we use material and documentary evidence to explore their impact on the landscape and social history of the people of East Anglia from the Middle Ages to 1914

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in history with a local emphasis. No previous knowledge is required.

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

  • identify relevant historical events which impacted on East Anglians during the period
  • be able to share in discussion on the material evidence of defences and their impact on the landscape and environment
  • analyse source materials on the Napoleonic Wars and draw conclusions from them on the involvement of ordinary people
  • apply your knowledge to new materials and use the evidence to draw reasoned conclusions
  • produce a reasoned conclusion on the treatment of those wounded in service

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Materials will be provided, and no pre-course reading is required, but books and other sources of information will be suggested during the course.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Defence of the Realm


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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