Oakwell Hall

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! That was a huge sigh of relief in case you didn’t guess. How are you all Dear Ones??

We have at last reached the half term break here in Patchland. We almost didn’t make it in one piece. It has been a long, busy and quite unhealthy half term. We all seem to have gone from one ailment to the next and that is not normal for us. Usually we are a healthy lot. The boys often get certificates from school for one hundred percent attendance…. not this half term. I mentioned in my last post that Little J was ill, he was off school for four days this week and then… yep you guessed it…. Big J got it! He was off Thursday and Friday and is still not good today. I’m thinking of making them all eat chicken soup for the next week! Mr P worked from home Wednesday, Thursday and Friday thankfully. It’s fortunate that he can do that, as otherwise it’s a days unpaid leave for me and especially fortunate this week, as I had a particularly busy week at work and had to go on two trips. So this week has been very far from normal, but at least it is over now and with only a minimum of disruption too (yay, well done us!). We have a week off now to recover ourselves and although I don’t think it will be a rest, it will at least be a change, which is supposed to be almost as good. It will be busy but possibly not quite as busy as it has been lately.

Enough waffling… on with the purpose of the post. As part of the Year 6 history topic on The Tudors we visited Oakwell Hall for the day. Oakwell Hall is a late Tudor mansion house built by the Batt family and run as a living museum now. Prior to the trip we had been instructed to wear Tudor dress so I spent last weekend googling, trying on, pondering, almost sewing my own coif (it’s amazing what you can learn on t’interwebs!), but fortunately I was saved from too much hassle by a colleague who promised to lend me her tudor costume. Some of the children’s costumes were brilliant… if not strictly Tudor! It was lovely to see them all making an effort (some more so than others) and getting into the spirit of things. There are some lovely photos of them but it’s not really ethical to publish them here…. and the photos of me have children on them too.

On arrival we were told to knock at the back door of the hall as we were supposed to be looking for work as servants. We were greeted by two tudor mistresses, servants of the Batt family, who asked what we wanted and told us we had very strange clothes, that we looked like vagabonds (some of the boys had gone to town with their costumes and had dressed as executioners or murderers!), that they didn’t really want vagabonds as servants and shut the door again! The children knocked again and tried to look more humble so they would let us in.

Then we were shown around the house and instructed in our duties. Some of the children struggled with the concept that the two mistresses were totally in Tudor character and didn’t always understand us modern day people and our ways and figures of speech. They were quite interested in the toiletting habits of the Tudors and were amazed that the mistress used the term “pisspot”… they couldn’t believe she used a swear word! They also couldn’t understand why the lord and lady had separate beds.  Later we took part in four different activities relating to Tudor life and ate our Tudor (or not so Tudor) lunches and found out about the ghost.

I didn’t take my camera and for the most part didn’t have the work camera either so took very few pictures. When I did have the work camera I did cheekily pop into an adjacent room to take some pictures that I thought you might be interested in.

This is Master William’s bedroom. He was the son of the Batt family and later became “the ghost”. The beautiful bedcover and drapes are of course reproductions but I still couldn’t resist taking these pictures. So colourful and such beautiful work. There is more information about them here. It was a good, if exhausting (trips always are) day out, the children were well behaved and seemed quite inspired by their visit the following day. Over the holiday they have been instructed to report on their trip in any way they choose, they can be as creative as possible. We are looking forward to seeing what they come back with. Having never been to Oakwell Hall before myself, it looks as though it has more to offer so perhaps I will visit again with the boys.

Still pondering over joining blocks here. Also did some repairs to the patchy blanket…. grrr… those very un-magic circles. I am very pleased to say that the patchy blanket is getting heavy use this week by the poorly people on the sofa but it has suffered somewhat so I am spending a little time fixing it before it gets worse. Hope you are all having a brilliant Saturday… the sun has just come out here 🙂


2 thoughts on “Oakwell Hall

  1. The Hall looks amazing. I see one get can married there, too! We don’t have anything over here that was built that long ago – strange Thought for the Day! Hope you enjoy your week off, am sure you can fit a tiny bit of rest in there somewhere 🙂

    • Today we have done very little… kept Big J company in front of a movie mostly. Its been very lazy. The mistresses insisted when we walk along the balcony in the great hall, that we walk next to the wall because it is weak!! Scary thought!

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