The 11 Best Documentaries about Medieval Times

Jul 21, 2023 | Best Of, History

The Middle Ages were a period of immense social change, marked by advances in science and technology. It was also characterized by the emergence of knights, castles, and battles between powerful forces. But what was it really like to live during this time? To understand more about life in medieval times, let us explore some of the most fascinating documentaries that offer insight into this era. From stories of kings and queens to tales of everyday peasants who served them, these films bring history alive with their vivid depictions of daily life back then. So join us as we take a journey through Medieval Times!


Europe in the Middle Ages (2004)

The Middle Ages, a period of time shrouded in mystery and fear. Its mention often evokes images of grim landscapes, filled with disease and superstition. But why is it that this era has been branded as “dark”? Come discover the truth behind the legends and myths surrounding the Middle Ages in our riveting documentary. Through historical accounts and expert analysis, we will uncover the reality of this fascinating time period. Don’t miss your chance to delve into a world that has captivated generations and see why the Middle Ages continue to intrigue us today.



The Middle Ages around the World (2023)

Come on a journey through time and discover the captivating tales of medieval empires. Delve into the complex web of trade, economics, and technology that fueled these great civilizations. Immerse yourself in the Age of Faith and uncover the rich history, culture, and thoughts that shaped not only Europe, but also Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and beyond.




William the Conqueror (2015)

Discover the incredible story of William the Conqueror, a ruler that forever changed European history. This gripping documentary follows his journey from a child king to the notorious conqueror who reshaped the landscape of Europe. Witness how he transformed royal leadership and became a legend on and off the battlefield.






El Cid, The Legend (2020)

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid Campeador, holds a revered place in history as a symbol of strength and bravery during the Middle Ages. His story has been passed down through generations, cementing him as a legendary figure. In this captivating documentary, we will delve into the many facets of El Cid’s life – his role as a fearless military leader, a skilled mercenary, and an undefeated hero in countless battles.





Secrets of the Castle (2014)

Unleash your inner adventurer and join historians Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold on a journey back in time. Together, they embark on an extraordinary challenge – to build a medieval castle entirely by hand, using only the tools, techniques, and materials available in the 13th century.




The Norse: An Arctic Mystery (2012)

In the search for new lands and riches, the Vikings set sail across treacherous waters. Their longships carried them to distant shores, where they established settlements and traded with locals. But what if their voyages took them even further than we previously thought? What if they reached the shores of North America long before Columbus ever set foot on it? Join us on a journey through time and explore the untold story of the Viking discovery of the New World.





Secrets of the Dark Ages (2007)

Travel back in time to an era of swords, shields, and chivalry. Join us on a journey through the myths and legends that defined the medieval period.




Medieval Dead (2013)

Medieval Dead brings to life the forgotten stories of those who lived in the shadows of history. Through a unique blend of captivating reenactments and cutting-edge archaeological discoveries, this gripping series transports viewers back to the mysterious and often brutal world of medieval times. Uncover the secrets that lie buried beneath our feet, as each episode delves into a different tale of life and death in the Dark Ages.




The Best Free Documentaries about The Middle Ages


1. Wars Of The Roses: Britian’s Bloodiest Conflict

The War of the Roses is a fascinating period in British history. This documentary looks into this bloody conflict between two branches of the English royal family, Plantagenets. It was a battle for power and control that lasted more than 30 years and changed Britain forever. Discover what happened during this brutal civil war – from who were the two sides, House of York and House of Lancaster to how it all started with Battle of St Albans in 1455 and ended at Bosworth Field in 1485. Learn about why Edward IV wanted to replace his cousin King Henry VI with his own son, as well as other interesting facts about this period. This documentary will show you an insightful look into one of Britian’s bloodiest conflicts!


2. Knights: Men in Iron

The Middle Ages was a time of great warriors, noble knights and fascinating stories. This documentary series delves into the lives of these heroic fighters who defended their country from invaders. We will explore the weapons they used, the armor they wore, and their horsemanship skills. Learn about how reading and writing were important to them as well as how they rose in status to become part of nobility. Watch all three episodes to learn more about Medieval Knights: Men in Iron!


3. What Life Was Like In A 13th Century Castle

Travel back in time to the 13th century and explore what life was like living in a castle. Real Royalty takes you on an incredible journey to some of Europe’s most influential families during this period. Discover how castles were used for protection, military purposes, and as homes for kings, queens, and emperors. Learn about the work and trade that developed across the continent during this era and witness firsthand why medieval castles remain symbols of power today. Tune in every week to Real Royalty for new full-length documentaries covering monarchies throughout history!


4. The Dark Ages

Discover the secrets of Medieval Times in this captivating documentary. From the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the turbulent Dark Ages, we explore how these centuries shaped human history. Learn about political unrest, religious upheaval, and cultural development that impacted Europe for generations to come. Dive deep into this fascinating period with us as we uncover what life was like during this brutal but ultimately enlightening era.


5. What Was Daily Life Like In Pre-Norman Britain?

The Kingdom of Wessex was a turning point in the history of Britain. After centuries of Danish rule, this first English kingdom emerged and marked the beginning of a new era. In this documentary we explore daily life during pre-Norman Britain through interviews with historians and experts on the period as well as reenactments to bring it all to life! We’ll look at how people lived, worked, and interacted with each other back then – so you can gain a better understanding of what life was like before Norman invasion.


6. 1000 AD: A Tour of Europe

Travel back in time to 1000 AD and explore life in Europe! In this documentary, we dive into the fascinating world of medieval times by looking at castles, trade, warfare and more. Get a better understanding of what life was like during this era by watching our video – you won’t be disappointed!


7. The Most Gruesome Diseases Of The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages were a tumultuous time of great suffering, and disease played a major role in the struggle for survival. In this documentary, we explore some of the most gruesome diseases that ravaged Europe during this period. From bubonic plague to leprosy, discover how these illnesses caused immense pain and death throughout Medieval times. We’ll also look at how hygiene and sanitation practices developed to protect against such maladies – or not! Join us on an unforgettable journey through one of history’s darkest periods as we uncover the truth about life-threatening diseases in Medieval times.


8. The Medieval Urban Planning of Maze-like Cities

Ever wondered why medieval cities are so maze-like? It turns out that intricate planning and design was behind it all. In this documentary, we explore the fascinating urban planning of Medieval cities and reveal how well-educated planners created these twisting alleyways to serve as both practical and symbolic designs. Discover the secrets of Medieval Urban Planning in this 8 part series on Maze-like Cities!


9. 536 AD: The Worst Year In History?

Your destination for all things medieval! Join us as we explore the collapse of the Roman Empire, which ushered in a period of famine and plague known as the Dark Ages. We’ll uncover how this era shaped our current world order by delving into key events like Hastings and Charlemagne. But why was 536 AD considered “the worst year to be alive”? Archaeologist David Keys reveals that a mysterious climate catastrophe is to blame – could it have been an asteroid or comet? Find out on Chronicle!


10. What Was The Biggest Killer In The Middle Ages?

Delve into a time of kings, castles and knights with this series that explores the secrets of medieval life. Combining archaeological science and dramatic reconstructions, Medieval Dead takes you deep into the Dark Ages to reveal true stories from history. Unearth the biggest killer in the Middle Ages as we examine skeletal remains buried beneath the earth’s surface. Trace and sift through these remains to uncover tales of battles, disease and death – all while exploring some of Europe’s most iconic landmarks!


11. The Grim Horrors Of Medieval Disease

The Middle Ages was home to all kinds of unimaginable horrors, from the bubonic plague to smallpox. It was a time when even minor ailments could become life-threatening illnesses with no reliable cure. But what can we learn about these devastating diseases by looking back at the lives of those who lived through them? In this documentary, we explore the grim history and hidden secrets behind some of medieval Europe’s most dreaded diseases. Uncovering fascinating stories and heartbreaking personal accounts, join us as we take a closer look at how people suffered in one of humankind’s darkest eras.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B