History School Trip To Normandy | Château du Molay
Lead a school history trip to Normandy and your students will uncover the realities of the Battle of Normandy and World War II in the area’s monuments, bunkers and cemeteries.
D-Day Museum at Arromanches
Two miles of trenches at Maisy Battery
British military history at Pegasus Bridge
American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach
*Please note, entrance fees where applicable are not included in typical price – contact us for more details
This long embroidered scroll is the most important relic to survive from the 11th century. Students can see the epic story of William of Normandy’s conquest of England in 1066, and consider the French and British interpretation of events. Tip: A workbook is available in French for MFL students. A workspace can be pre-booked for one hour for school groups with a replica tapestry image.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. The memorial, set around a bronze statue, shows maps and narratives of the military operations. Visitors’ centre staff are available to answer students’ questions.
This film is projected in High Definition on 9 screens and tells the story of the terrible Battle of Normandy thanks to archive images gathered from around the world. This film is a tribute to soldiers from all countries and to the 20,000 civilians who were killed during this battle for the liberation of Europe, a battle which gave rise to so much hope.
In the heart of the D-Day beaches, Arromanches is renowned for its ‘Mulberry’ artificial harbour. Its remains speak of the remarkable technical feat of taking 600,000 tonnes of concrete and equipment across the Channel in wartime to serve as a base for Allied troops. The museum uses models, videos and a diorama that movingly bring life to the displays.
This Memorial is a rich teaching aid to help students study our shared past and introduces emotion and memory, using dynamic and diverse educational activities. It is possible to book a guide (at a supplement) to accompany the group on their coach to see the battlefield, and optional workbooks and workshops are also available.
This is the largest of the 18 Commonwealth military cemeteries in Normandy. It contains 4,868 graves of soldiers from the UK and 10 other countries – including Germany. Many of the soldiers buried here were never identified, and the headstones are simply marked ‘A Soldier Known Unto God’. Students can reflect on the sadness, sacrifice and honour of war.
This is the largest of the German cemeteries in Normandy, commemorating 21,222 German soldiers. Students can reflect on the casualties of war on both sides, and consider the German footsoldiers’ perspective. Students can also contrast the cemetery to those of the allied forces. Photo © Jennie Rainsford.
William the Conqueror was born at this castle in about 1028 and grew up here. Students can visit the ruins and follow the prosperous times and disasters the castle has seen – intermittent fighting in the Hundred Years War from 1337-1453, and again in 1944 bombing raids.
Tip: There are educational tools available to complement the visit.
Pegasus Bridge was captured by British forces on the night of 5-6 June 1944 in order to protect the eastern flank of the landing operations at Sword Beach. At the Pegasus Bridge Museum, students can learn about the events of its capture and the forces that carried it out via displays of historic items such as weapons and gliders, documents and photographs.
This huge German artillery battery near Omaha beach lay hidden for over 60 years as it was buried following the US Rangers’ final assault on 9 June 1944. Students can explore over two miles of original trenches, bunkers and see German field guns in position. It is one of the most intact positions along Hitler’s Atlantic Wall in Normandy.
This museum and cultural centre shows the war effort made by Canadians, civilian and military, both at home and on the various fronts during World War II. Students can engage with the exhibits, which draw on documents, photographs, maps, artefacts, audio-visual and audio accounts. The many faces of contemporary Canadian society are also explored.
You can choose from a range of fun and educational activities and experienced chateau staff are on hand to ensure that the students are having fun all day and night. Activities can include: archery, a blind trail walk, survival skills, initiative exercises, using various sports facilities for sporting games (such as the seasonal outdoor swimming pool), planting a tree and circus frenzy to name a few.
This new museum dedicated to the life and times of Joan of Arc is located in the medieval Archbishops Palace in the historic centre of Rouen. It was in this building that Joan received a posthumous pardon, some twenty year after she was burnt at the stake for being a heretic and witch. The exhibition traces the personal history of Joan set in the context of the History of the time through multi-media installations.
This unique museum is dedicated entirely to the daily life and survival of civilians during World War Two in Normandy. Built on the ruins of a house destroyed by bombs in 1944, exhibits include film, photographs, oral testimonies from civilians, and objects from the period. An immersive film plunges the visitor into the bombings of WWII and it also looks at the period of Occupation in Normandy.
The German artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer was destroyed by Allied forces on 6th June 1944. Made up of 4 block houses and an observation post looking out to the sea, this is the only battery with its guns still intact. Longues-sur-Mer is one of the most important parts of the Historical Route of the Battle of Normandy at the heart of the allied assault sector between Omaha and Gold Landing Beaches.
Mont Saint-Michel, a gothic Benedictine abbey, is perched on a rocky islet amid vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides. Over the years the island’s abbey has served as a prison, a fortress against the English and a monastery. As well as the abbey, your group can explore the medieval buildings of the village that grew up beneath its walls, along with stunning views.
This spy-themed adventure is based around Elise Leclair, a lady in her eighties who is proud to have served as a messenger for the French resistance during the war, has set a challenge for students visiting Normandy. Students collect ‘intelligence’ throughout different venues across the region and discover beautiful historical sites such as Bayeux, Arromanches, the Mont St Michel and the Normandy American Cemetery. This quest can be designed to fit your own itinerary. Enrichment or MFL version available.
Our exclusive 18th century Château du Molay can accommodate 195 guests in 42 en-suite bedrooms and is set amongst 38 acres of beautiful private parkland.
Located only 14kms from Bayeux, within easy reach of the world famous Calvados coast and just a 45 minute journey from Caen, the Château is in an ideal location for easy school trips from the UK.
- Study World War II Normandy
- Visit the D-Day landing beaches, museums, cemeteries and monuments
- Learn about Nazi control and dictatorship
- Learn about the French resistance
- Study the Norman Conquest
- Learn about medieval Normandy
Students will have had an opportunity to:
- Gain awareness of the events and experiences of soldiers in World War II
- See how societies come to terms with traumatic events
- Understand the modern-day effects of medieval and more recent history
- Gain a sense of the breadth of history and develop their knowledge of selected periods of history
- Explore conceptions of patriotism and citizenship and consider the quest for international peace