People, events and ideas of the British Civil Wars explored and explained by leading historians

A unique FREE OPEN ACCESS resource for everyone interested in this time which shaped the Britain we know today

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What you will find with each programme ·  Podcasts   ·  Transcripts   ·  Interactive glossary   ·  Timeline   ·  Places to visit   ·  Maps

The Critical Years

Distinguished historians looking at events and individuals – famous and unknown – in the key years before, during and following the civil wars in Britain and Ireland.

Religion in the Civil Wars explained

Religious divisions between the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were a fundamental cause of the Civil Wars and throughout the Interregnum sectarianism between Protestant factions constantly challenged the republican government and ultimately destroyed it.

Trial of Charles I – What were the real objectives?

The proceedings played out in front of thousands of spectators within Westminster Hall and in print were read by many more. The Rump Parliament intended the trial to serve propaganda purposes. However, this aim was subverted by the king’s surprisingly fluent defence in which he recast himself as a defender of the people’s liberty in the face of a new, arbitrary power.

Rediscovering the stories of the wounded – The Battle of Naseby, 1641

The battle of Naseby finally destroyed the field army of the King and in two hours changed the history not only of Britain, but every modern democracy.

History of Parliament

By the 1640s, Parliament was at the very centre of British history. The accession of Charles the First to the throne in 1625 began a bitter rivalry for dominance with a King whose political and religious views brought him into head-to-head conflict with an increasingly assertive Parliament.

Step-by-step Guide - Understanding the Civil Wars

Step-by-step Guide – Understanding the Civil Wars

An introductory step-by-step guide to the causes, conflicts and consequences of the British Civil Wars. With Professor Peter Gaunt in three 30-minute podcasts.

Charles I – The road to execution

Charles I – The road to execution

How culpable was Charles I in causing the British Civil Wars? Why did his army lose and why was he executed? Answering these questions are two noted historians, Edward Vallance and Andrew Hopper.

English Civil Wars

Just arrived

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Understanding the Importance of Scotland, Ireland and Wales

Historians now recognise that the civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century must be viewed in a British and Irish context and not exclusively from an English perspective.

Historians’ evolving views of John Pym

To unravel this historiography Contributing Editor, Professor Andrew Hopper, sat down with Dr Stephen Roberts, the distinguished Emeritus Editor of The History of Parliament.

John Pym (1584-1643) – Pivotal Parliamentary figure and opponent of the King

John Pym, who was born in 1584 and died in December 1643, was one of the most important Parliamentary figures in the years leading up to the outbreak of the Civil Wars.
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Was Cromwell’s inability to work with Parliament the greatest irony of the English Revolution?

Oliver Cromwell’s actions, decisions and response to the world in which he had to operate had consequences which shaped the history of Britain and the world beyond.

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Contributing Editors

Denise Greany

Denise Greany

Contributing Education Editor, Learning and Participation Officer at The National Civil War Centre

Andrew Hopper

Andrew Hopper

Professor of Local and Social History

Ismini Pells

Ismini Pells

Project manager of the Civil War Petitions Project

Educational partners