Stepping back in time

art-pheasant.jpgWalking through our Time Tunnel is like stepping back in time to Tudor England. When school children emerge on the other side there is no 21st Century. As far as the eye can see will be Tudor people going about their business. And with every child in Tudor costume, they are accepted onto the Manor as visitors. What news might they bring?

"You feel like an idiot dressed up and waiting for the coach, but it is really worth it when you arrive and are thrust back into a really convincing Tudor age. The adults that had removed their hats quickly put them back on - you felt wrong without them. How they persuade even the children to stay so resolutely in character I don't know, but even my really intelligent pupils half believed that they had been transported back to Tudor times."

Our Tudors meticulously research their roles. Everything they wear, do or say will be historically accurate (as far as anyone can know how people lived 500 years ago).

For example the blacksmith will be at his anvil working iron, heated to red-hot in furnaces kept roaring by young apprentices manning the bellows, into tackle for the stables, and tongs and spits for the fire in the manor-house kitchen.

At a pole lathe, the wood-turner will be concentrating on turning a perfectly symmetrical wooden bowl for use at table.

The bearded alchemist will be bent over his still, transforming household wood-ash and distilled water into a caustic solution of lye - an essential ingredient (mixed with a little urine) in the starch used to stiffen the gentry's elaborate ruffs.

Everywhere you look, every sound you hear or smell you notice is Tudor. You cannot imagine you're anywhere else but back in Tudor England.
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All images and text © Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA