006 - Growth of towns and cities

Factual Question

What factors have led to the growth of cities?
What was life like in a Medieval city?

Taken From: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/maps/London.jpg

Key Terminology

  • Migration
  • Push factor
  • Pull factor
  • Guild
  • Sanitation
Define the key words above using the useful links below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

You are going to be developing a bank of information on A3 paper about what life was like to live in cities in the Middle Ages and we are going to be specifically looking at London. You will be given a range of information to help you build this 'bank' from images, written sources and media clips.
  • Using the images in the table below describe what London city life may have been like in the Middle Ages.
  Source One - A typical bridge

Taken From: http://www.timeref.com/places/imgs/london_bridge.jpg

 Source Two - Market

Taken From: http://www.richardiii.net/images/medieval_market.jpg

 Source Three - Health and Disease

Taken From: http://static.thefrisky.com/uploads/2015/08/plague.jpg

 Source Four - Guilds

Taken From: http://www.traditioninaction.org/OrganicSociety/Images_1-100/A_023_Blacksmith.jpg

Activity Two - Read

  • Read the two articles below about Medieval London and write down additional information about what life was like in London that you have not found in the images.

Useful Resources

Activity Three - Watch

Watch the clip below by Dan Snow. He will be describing what life was really like in the cities of Medieval Europe. While he is focusing on London there are similarities between them. As you watch the clip answer the following questions by adding the information to your 'banks':

  1. What made London popular?
  2. What facilities were there in London?
  3. Why did people live closely together?
  4. Where did all the waste go?
  5. What impact did the waste have on London?
  6. Describe what happens at the butchers and what happens when there isn't a fridge.
  7. Who treated the sick?
  8. Describe the different treatments of illness.
  9. What was the impact of the different treatments on people that were ill?
  10. What was the average life expectancy during this time?
  11. How did the plague spread?

Filthy Citites Worksheet

Filthy Cities Worksheet


  • Would you like to live in London during this time in history? Try and write your answer in no more than 500 words. Remember to explain and use evidence from the clip you have just watched.