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GCSE History Site Study

New from September 2023. A range of support and resources for your students when you pick Ely Cathedral as your GCSE History Site Study.

Why choose Ely Cathedral for your GCSE Site Study?

There has been a place of worship on this site since St Etheldreda set up her first monastery in 673AD. Since then the site has experienced huge changes due to invasion, religious reforms, civil war and restorations. Despite all this change, it also boasts one of the largest and best preserved range of medieval monastic buildings that are still in use across Europe. Continuity and change are evident throughout our complex, giving your students an excellent resource through which to develop their skills as historians.

Ely is a tiny city with a big history! Since Saxon times it has acted as a microcosm of British history. It was the last place in England to fall to the Norman invaders, holding out until 1071. It also bears the scars of the reformation with grace whilst escaping the worst of the damage of the Civil War, possibly due to Oliver Cromwell's close personal connection to the Cathedral. The Cathedral floor and monastic precinct have echoed with the footsteps of the powerful and famous (sometimes infamous!) throughout history from King Cnut to Hereward the Wake and from Queen Philippa to movie stars.

We are able to provide a range of support for schools using Ely Cathedral as a Site Study. On this page you will find information to support you in completing your application to exam boards as well as sample pages from our Site Study Coursebook. The coursebook covers the whole of the history of Ely Cathedral from St Etheldreda's lifetime to the 1350th celebration of the foundation of her monastery. We are also able to welcome your students to the Cathedral for a bespoke day of hands on learning that focuses on the key questions you are working on.

Prices and how to access support

A site study visit to Ely Cathedral costs £10.00 per student. This includes up to 3 workshops and tours as well as reflection time in our classroom space, a space for lunch and refreshments for teachers. Your day will start at 9.30am and finish by 2.30pm (though we can be flexible with timings to suit your travel plans). You will also have access to a digital, printable copy of our coursebook to use in school. Take advantage of our 10% Early Bird booking discount when you book your visit more that 4 months in advance.

We want to work with you to make sure that your students get the most from their day at Ely Cathedral. Once you know which dates work best for your school, email us at We'll secure your dates and then, based on your preferences, plan the perfect learning experience for you and your students.

GCSE Site Study Coursebook

Download sample pages from our GCSE Site Study Coursebook here

GCSE Site Study Coursebook