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Juniors enjoy a Victorian day at Preston Manor

Posted: 7th June 2012 | Category: Years 1 & 2

Preston Manor

Years 1 & 2 had a very exciting day at Preston Manor on Friday 24th February.  The stately home in Brighton was once the home of the very wealthy Stanford family during Victorian times.

The children were excited to arrive at school dressed up in Victorian costumes for the day. There was a mixture of House Maids, Chimney Sweeps (with blackened faces) and one ‘Lady of the Manor’. 

At Preston Manor, they were met by a rather strict house maid, Mary, who took them to the Lunch Room before leading them up to the main door to meet Trevor, the Butler, who would also be guiding them through Preston Manor and giving them a taste of Victorian life.

In the Grand Entrance Hall the children listened to a short talk about the Stanford family before being then led to the Dining Room to find out more about life in Victorian times.

Later, the children retired to the ‘With-Drawing Room’, as it was called in those days. (Our modern day Living Room or Lounge). Trevor escorted the group up the main staircase to Mrs Stanford’s suite of rooms, with its four poster bed and Mary explained how in Victorian times the door could be unlocked without getting out of bed using a device known as ‘the night bolt’.

Next, they entered the servant’s quarters, where they examined a house maid’s room which was very bare and functional.  The children were set a variety of tasks, such as dusting, polishing and bed making.  To the children’s amazement, they were even shown how to clean the carpet using damp tea leaves!

Just when the children thought the hard work was over, Trevor and Mary marched them off to the “boot room” via the servant’s narrow staircase where the children were able to use more Victorian artefacts, including a washing posser, wash boards and carpet beaters. The children took turns in washing clothes, folding the laundry, beating carpets, polishing boots and there was also a demonstration of how a “mangle” worked.

Next stop was the kitchen where everyone was set a task. The children prepared roast, stuffed apples (the roasting took place back at school) and also attempted to make Victorian style lemonade, which ended up with a lemonade volcano!

The tour was concluded with a question and answer session in the main hall.

The children were a credit to Skippers Hill and they all really enjoyed their ‘hands on’ experience of what it would have been like in Victorian times.

Many thanks to all the parents for the wonderful costumes and especially to Vicky Price, Dan Ellis, Nikki Morris and Mark Quittenton for joining into the spirit of the day and for their help and support.

Miss Murphy

Preston Manor

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