Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Stepping back in time to Harvington Hall

11 May 2018

Year 4 girls recently experienced their first visit to Harvington Hall as part of their study of the Tudors in History. Harvington Hall is a beautifully restored manor house famed for its many priest holes and surrounding moat. 

In the Great Hall girls dressed up as Lords and Ladies and learned all about the fashions of the time. They were then treated to some Tudor music whilst being taught some of the dances that would have been part of an evening’s entertainment for the upper classes. Portraits of former Lords and Ladies of Harvington Hall adorned the room together with shields bearing their coats of arms, providing a wonderful authentic setting for the girls to experience. Year 4 were then treated to a tour of the upstairs rooms where the family would have lived, including her Ladyship’s bedroom with a magnificent four poster bed and even an en-suite loo. 

Later, the girls had the chance to experience Tudor life as an ordinary person. Each girl was given a job in the household, including cook, baker, farmer and spit boy. The girls learned about how each person in the household and on the wider estate would have worked together to keep the Manor running smoothly for his Lordship. This included finding out about all the different types of food eaten at the time, how it was grown and prepared and how the diets of the rich and poor varied greatly.

As the girls toured the house they were also shown the various priest holes and learned about why they were necessary at this time. They even went into one of them to see if they could remain quiet enough to evade capture. Some were better at this than others!

At lunchtime we all enjoyed a picnic in the beautiful gardens which included a visit from the friendly local ducks looking for a quick snack and we had a chance to spend some money in the delightful on site shop.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed their busy day and were much praised by the staff and visitors for their knowledge and exemplary behaviour.

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