19 January 2016

Despite cold and wintery conditions our annual trip to Sulgrave Manor was another great success. The Manor, with its picturesque gardens, was built in 1539 by Lawrence Washington, an ancestor of George Washington. 

On arrival we were warmly met by Mistress Amy and Mistress Megan, who after an introduction gave us Tudor garments to adorn; breeches, doublet and ruff. After a quick visit to the ‘jakes’ and a tour of the large, impressive gardens we were taken to Meg’s kitchen to warm up. No electronic machinery just an open fire and an array of brass pots and pans and large hanks of salted meats hanging from the ceilings. A long oak table full of delicious looking Tudor foods: salted meats and bread that, if dropped, would cause considerable damage to the kitchen floor. A number of our boys got the opportunity to turn the spit, collect bread from the ovens and, more worryingly, attempt to start a fire with flint and kindle!

The next stop was the master’s bedroom. The centre of the room was dominated by the master’s bed, ornate and canopied. The surrounding walls covered in local art, a spinning wheel even a baby hung in a sling – we believe that this was to stop the rats pecking out their eyes.

After a fulfilling lunch of meat, cheese, bread and ginger ale we assisted Meg and Amy with the making of a large Tudor galleon. With sail attached, oars, an anchor and barrels of ale we set off on our exploration to learn all about how and why the Tudor’s explored the world. This whole learning experience was supported by a fantastically organised treasure hunt. We set off in small groups around the grounds in search of potatoes, pineapples, tobacco and chocolate.

This was an excellent experience and perfect to support the work we have delivered in class as part of our history curriculum.

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