Year 5 pupils arrived at school on Thursday 23 February, looking as though they had stepped straight out of the Tudor era. It was a windy morning so the Tudor ladies had to hold onto their bonnets as they boarded the coaches!
On arrival at Burghley House near Stamford everyone was led into The Great Hall where a welcoming fire was burning in the magnificent hearth. When Henry VIII himself strode into the hall, with great importance, our pupils had a chance to become jurors in a trial of the Tudor king, with our very own Mrs Marty as judge. After putting a lot of searching questions to Henry and weighing up the evidence, Year 5 voted in favour of King Henry and overwhelmingly supported his decisions to divorce and execute his wives.
Tudor dancing was next on the agenda with everyone joining in and learning the steps in time to Tudor music. A visit to the kitchen and a re-creation of a feast taught pupils about Tudor food - they learned about the differences between rich and poor people's food, the correct way to wear a napkin, what it was like to be a spit boy and how turtle soup was a particular favourite in Tudor times.
After lunch everyone gathered in a candlelit room to meet Dr Mort, a Tudor physician. The children were spellbound as they listened to him talk about what sort of diseases people caught and how they were treated. For example, to reduce a temperature twenty or thirty leeches were placed on the body to suck out the blood. To treat earache they would warm up an onion and place it against the ear. Grinding the bark from a birch tree, mixing it with water and drinking it should cure a headache. Failing that, taking a piece of rope that had hung a man and placing it on the head would definitely work. I think, by the end of the day, we all agreed that we appreciate modern medicine!
Year 5 pupils really enjoyed the day and their visit to this beautiful stately home, which provided them with a helpful insight into Tudor life. They've certainly been well prepared for their next piece of work which will involve writing their own Tudor remedies.