Year 8 Flair History Trip to Montacute House
As part of their studies into the Elizabethans Year 8 visited Glastonbury Tribunal a local Tudor townhouse where they observed the architectural features and spaces of a smaller townhouse.
They saw Tudor roses and oak beams, ham stone, a well, an original Elizabethan kitchen that would have been workplace and bedroom to the servants. Fashions of the day were discussed about the colours of Charles I reign over the white purity of Cromwell’s time.
The children were given a tour and talk by Tim (Chair of Glastonbury Antiquarian Society) and the children were able to ask some great questions such as ‘What are the beams made of?’ from Ryan and ‘What would this room have been used for?’ from Toby.
The front door key was a source of particular interest as it is so big. The children found it very interesting and enjoyable. Especially, learning about the hazards of living in this time such as the threat of ‘fire’ from open fires and candles as well as becoming ill from poor/polluted water sources.
We then decamped to Montacute House a large Elizabethan country mansion where the children could compare size, scale and use to what they had learnt at the Tribunal.
At Montacute the grand approach, entrance and building displayed the success and pride of its owner Sir Edward Phelips a significant politician to Elizabeth I. The children took part in a Mystery and Mischief event whereby they had to solve the mystery of the missing portrait by solving clues described in mini shadow plays and artefact evidence. While doing this they learnt about ‘mummers’, neighbours who would dress up in disguise and turn up in their neighbour’s houses to perform music, riddles and poetry and the residents would have had to guess who they were.
The children enjoyed seeing traditional Tudor costumes, suits of armour, tapestries, elaborate furniture, stained-glass windows, heraldic shields, ancient hedging, trees, bee-hives…., there was so much to see and learn about.
We sampled Mead (non-alcoholic) which was warming and we learnt backgammon a traditional game. The weather was stunning and there was even a bit of time for tongue in cheek Tudor phrase making such as ‘Thou art a ‘bawdy, pot-bellied, foot-liker.’
We solved the mystery of the theft- a servant who had drunk a bit too much and had drawn rabbit ears on the portrait were found in the stables. A good time was had by all and the children really enjoyed seeing the real-life evidence of the Elizabethans, knowledge they can now put into their work at school.