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Elizabethan Christmas

The children built on their amazing interview practice to find out all about the political turmoil inside the Court of Elizabeth 1.  Sir William was able to provide a deal of anecdotal evidence which gave a unique insight to the Tudor period in general, and Elizabeth’s ‘Golden Era’ in particular.  After amassing a wealth of notes from which to write their recounts, a more jolly side of Sir William was seen when he taught the children a Tudor dance and Tudor parlour games.  

The children also had a private viewing of Burghley’s Tudor kitchens, as they looked then, and to view the fare on offer at a 40 course Tudor meal.  They were also fascinated to hear how children were used from age 6 to turn the spit in those days and needed dousing regularly with a bucket of

cold water to avoid burns;  as one child put it, it ‘lends new meaning to when we think we’re going to get a roasting’!  This part of the visit concluded with a tasting of ‘Frumenty’, a Tudor porridge.  Needless to say, there were some mixed reviews although many went back for seconds and even thirds! It was fascinating to hear how many children, after the visit, downloaded the recipe and cooked it for their families to taste!

The children also made Tudor purses as a keepsake.  This activity gave a fascinating insight to the world of ‘cutpurses’ and Tudor street life with its accompanying presentation.

Finally, Sir William Cecil recounted a ghost story in order to settle the children for a calm return trip in the gathering gloom!  The accompanying teachers were very grateful!