Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Leeds Museums and Galleries | Temple Newsam and Lotherton.


This resource explores the stories of country houses turned into WW1 hospitals through images, case studies and dramatic audio interpretation.

A Global View:

WW1: As the name suggests, the First World War (1914-1918) involved many countries across the globe. Initially, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia in Eastern Europe for resisting its imperial control. The declaration prompted a domino effect as countries stepped in one after another to support their allies on each side. Eventually, this meant that countries such as Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy were at war with countries including Britain, France and Russia. As some of these had their own empires, the countries within the empires were made to fight too, supporting their rulers, or were attacked by their rulers’ enemies. For example, troops from India, Australia and New Zealand fought for Britain and the Indian army attacked German colonies in Africa. In 1917, the USA joined the war on Britain’s side. Consequently, huge portions of the world ended up entangled in the conflict.

Curriculum Links

  • KS3 History: WW1 | Local History Study
  • KS4 History: Local History Study
  • KS2 & 3: Leeds Curriculum

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of war hospitals and convalescence during the First World War
  • Understanding of the organisation behind war hospitals and the stories of patients
  • Skills to analyse different sources, explore and construct creative interpretations of historical material


Discussion Ideas

  • What does the phrase ‘war effort’ mean?
  • Who might have taken part in the war effort?
  • How was the First World War different to earlier wars?
  • Why did the owners of Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall want to contribute their houses to the war effort?
  • How might the houses have been changed when they were converted to hospitals?
  • What do you think of these houses being used as hospitals?
  • What do you think the patients at Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall thought of the houses?
  • How would the houses have differed from the soldiers’ homes or their accommodation in the trenches?
  • How might the experiences of Belgian soldiers at the hospital have been different to that of soldiers from the UK?


Activity Ideas

  • Activity trail: Visit Temple Newsam House and follow this activity trail to retrace the footsteps of the soldiers who were treated there in wartime. 
  • Research: Students might carry out further research into the different stages of medical treatment on the journey of an injured soldier from the battlefield to a convalescent hospital like Temple Newsam House or Lotherton Hall. This could be presented in a variety of ways, perhaps visually or interpreted in creative writing.