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


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

The Putney Debates (1647) – On the way to democracy and Regicide

Historians often refer to these debates as a founding moment in the history of democracy in Britain and the wider world. At the time they were also directly linked to the Regicide which followed.

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.

LIVE WEBCAST – Remembrance – Veterans & Widows – Past and present

The British Civil Wars and their aftermath marked the beginning of formal state recognition of its unique obligations to the welfare of military veterans and widows Armed Forces Covenant. This unique webcast will bring the past and present together.

Upside Down World – Exciting new free access programme for schools

The British Civil Wars provides an exciting opportunity to engage learners of all ages and as Denise Greany, Learning Officer at National Civil War Centre explains, it brings compelling stories with a diverse and colourful cast of characters to the classroom.

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.

Growing Up – Children’s Experiences

The Civil Wars changed the lives of families all across the British Isles, and inevitably children became involved not only as passive bystanders, but also as child soldiers fighting in both the Royalist and Parliamentary armies.

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

Extraordinary lives of ordinary men, women and children revealed by the Civil War Petitions Project

Professor Andrew Hopper and Dr Ismini Pells reveal some of the key findings from this study which opens a window on the impact of the British Civil Wars through the lives of veterans, widows and orphans in a world turned upside down.

The Putney Debates – A founding moment of British democracy

By the summer of 1647, Parliament had won the First Civil War. At the battles of Naseby and Langport, the New Model Army had crushed the Royalist field armies and the King himself was now their prisoner. But all was not well on the parliamentary side.

Religion and the Civil Wars – Introductory overview

A concise introduction to the causes and consequences of the religious divisions which contributed to the outbreak of the Civil Wars.

Divided by religion – Post-Reformation Britain

The Tudor Reformation of the 16th Century left England, Scotland and Ireland bitterly divided.

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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