This resource on the story of the Huguenots’ arrival and impact in Britain is most suitable for History at Key Stage 3 but can also be used to embed citizenship and Design and Technology as a wider project. Or the section on the Huguenots as refugees and assimilation (On the Move) can be used on its own for a Citizenship lesson / project.


The Huguenot story can create an insight into understanding of Britain’s past, how peoples’ lives have defined the nation, and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.

You can use it to introduce and understand historical concepts such as cause and consequence; for example, persecution in France and flight of refugees to Britain in On the Move,  or the impact of new skills and people on creating the Industrial Revolution in Britain.

The Huguenot story can promote historical enquiry through different forms of historic evidence and source material, including physical spaces such as street names and buildings (see Places and Traces and Archive Explorers for example). It makes connections between local, regional, national and international events, specifically religious persecution across France leads to mass migration to Spitalfields in East London and other areas in England (see Traces and Places ).

The story also gives a historical perspective across short timescales (e.g. the late 17thC) and across centuries, the reformation in the 16thC to the industrial revolution in the early 19thC. The 1685 Edict of Nantes can be considered followed by the Glorious Revolution (invited Dutch invasion) in 1688 and the immediate impact of refugees in parts of England in the late 17thC. The longterm impact of Huguenots working in Britain, industrial techniques, and their linked political ideas for example many went to America and were involved in the American War of Independence (see George Washington) can be considered.

The story of the Huguenots specifically fits into:
The development of Church, State and Society in Britain 1509 – 1745, such as reformation in Europe. It can offer a snapshot of society, change, economy and culture in late 17thC England.
Ideas, political power, industry and empire; Britain 1745 – 1901. the impact of the Huguenots on work and the industrial revolution as well as ideas on political freedom and religious tolerance can be seen in the story of individuals featured in Talents of the Huguenots.

Design and Technology

Huguenot designs and techniques in weaving and textiles can be researched, explored and evaluated. Their work can be used as the basis for original creations.


The Huguenot story can be used to understand the rights and responsibilities of UK citizens and how we gained liberties, including freedom of worship, as well as to tell our diverse island story.

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