Dissolution of the monasteries

Valor Ecclesiasticus (Church Valuation) illuminated initial, 1536 (E 344/22)
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Did Henry VIII change the face of England with the stroke of a pen?

This workshop draws upon a range of different documents to explore the motivations behind the dissolution of the monasteries and the process of dissolution.

The workshop begins with a mystery document to introduce students to using original Tudor documents and transcripts. They will then investigate different documents such as extracts from the Compendium Compertorum, extracts from the Valor Ecclesiasticus, a Surrender Deed and letters from Richard Layton to Thomas Cromwell.

The students will also be introduced to the arguments of two opposing historians on the motives behind the dissolution of the monasteries and they will then be asked to construct their own argument on this, drawing on the evidence that they have gathered from the documents used in the workshop.

This session is delivered as a workshop. Find out more about the types of session we offer.


Session options

This session is delivered as a:


at The National Archives

2 hours

Available: All year

Cost: Free to UK schools

Suitability: Key stage 5

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All activities must be booked in advance.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 5365

Fax: +44 (0)20 8487 9202

Contact the education team