Year 7

Churchmen in medieval Norwich

I can explain the role religion played in social life in medieval Norwich.

Year 7

Churchmen in medieval Norwich

I can explain the role religion played in social life in medieval Norwich.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Norwich was home to many religious houses.
  2. Norwich Cathedral was the most prominent religious community in Norwich.
  3. The Cathedral was wealthier than any other group in Norwich.
  4. Churchmen provided a range of social services including charity and education.
  5. Other religious houses like the Blackfriars were more popular than the monks at the Cathedral.

Common misconception

Students think that medieval churches only focused on prayer and religious services.

Remind pupils that the Cathedral and other groups of churchmen in medieval Norwich also provided charity, education and hospital care.


  • Cathedral - a cathedral is the largest and most important church in a particular area

  • Bishop - a bishop is a leader of high rank in the Christian Church

  • Monk - a monk is a man who has withdrawn from normal life to dedicate his life to God

  • Will - people write a will to leave instructions about what should be done with their things once they die

At the end of learning cycle 2, ask students who tends to be responsible for providing the wide range of services Norwich Cathedral provided in the medieval period. Ask students to reflect on why they think this was different in the medieval period.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

Write the missing word. Most people in medieval England believed they had to be good to get to heaven.
Correct Answer: Christians, christians
How much land did the Church own in medieval England?
Correct answer: 30%
Write the missing word. A is a person with special rights in a city.
Correct Answer: freeman, Freeman
Who was responsible for choosing the mayor in Norwich after 1404?
Correct answer: freemen
Starting with the earliest, sort the events into chronological order.
1 - Norwich's wool trade grows significantly.
2 - Norwich recieves a new city charter.
3 - Norwich Guildhall is built.
What did elites in Norwich hope to achieve by building their new Guildhall?
provide a new place for worship
increase trade in the city
Correct answer: show off the high status of Norwich

6 Questions

What is a cathedral?
any church
any church located in a city
Correct answer: the largest and most important church in an area
the largest and most important church in a country
How much money did Norwich cathedral earn each year?
Correct answer: £2200
Which two groups of people lived in Norwich Cathedral?
Correct answer: bishop
Correct answer: monks
The "Norwich Chronicle" was written by a living at Norwich cathedral.
Correct Answer: monk, Monk
Which of the following was a difference between the monks at Norwich Cathedral and the Blackfriars?
the Blackfriars were very wealthy
Correct answer: the Blackfriars lived and worked within the city
the Blackfriars often became mayor and freemen
the Blackfriars helped to educate people
How can we tell the Blackfriars were very popular in Norwich?
they had more members than any other religious group
they lived in the largest church in Norwich
they provided education for people
Correct answer: they received donations from nearly half of all wills in Norwich

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