Thursday 10 December 2015

Historical Christmas

We have recently joined the National Trust and want to make sure that we use the ticket to its full advantage so decided that a trip to Ightham Mote would tick several boxes. 

Ightham Mote is a Mediaeval moated manor which fitted very well with learning about the Middle Ages. It is hosting a Victorian Christmas celebration but also has a library decorated to fit with a 1920s American Christmas. In addition, it is set in the Kentish countryside and has a web of estate paths to explore.

The building is low lying and surrounded by a moat. 

It boasts the only grade I listed dogs' kennel which was home to a St Bernard but later to two Chinchillas. Go figure!

Inside, the staff were dressed in late Victorian costume. First, we went into the butler's pantry where the butler explained about stirrup cups and the dynamite proof safe. 

On the wall was a panel of bells to summon the staff.

Onto the housekeeper's room where Lady Colyer-Fergusson swept in to give orders about food over Christmas to her housekeeper. 

The Great Hall was decorated for a Victorian Christmas with a log fire, Christmas tree and table laid for lunch.

Sir Thomas Colyer-Fergusson was having an animated discussion with the more impassive butler. 

There was so much in this Hall: a basket for sending sweets up to the children above, displays of the type of toys that would have been given under the tree and a beautiful Mediaeval roof. 

Outside, there was a great muddy walk, along an ancient lane but this mother had forgotten the wellies so we had to curtail this. I should know after 22 years of motherhood, not to go to the country without wellies.

Highly recommended. 

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  1. This looks amazing! You have no idea how your history field trips sound to someone from Canada where there is so much less history!

    1. Hope you can visit England sometime. I would happily take you to some of our favourite places.