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Year 2 Learn About Victorian Life at Preston Manor

Posted: 21st March 2013 | Category: Year 2

Year 2 had a very exciting day at a stately home called Preston Manor in Brighton, which was the home of the very wealthy Stanford family.

The children arrived in school dressed up in Victorian costumes for the day and really looked the part. Our tour guides for the afternoon were Trevor, the butler, and Ann, the head housemaid.

We had a short talk in the grand entrance hall and were then led off to the dining room to find out more about life in Victorian times.

Next, we retired to the “with- drawing room”, as it was called in those days. (Our modern day living room or lounge).

The children were then split into two groups.

Group 1 went with Ann to see Mrs. Stanford’s bedroom with its four poster bed and Trevor’s group went to see Mr. Stanford’s room where our guides explained how in Victorian times you could unlock the door without getting out of bed using a device known as the night bolt.

We were then shown the servants’ quarters. We examined a housemaid’s room which was very bare and functional.  Here the children were set a variety of tasks: dusting, polishing, bed making and, to the children’s amazement, cleaning the carpet using damp tea leaves. 

Just as we thought the hard work was over we were marched us off to the “boot room” via the servants’ very narrow staircase.  Here the children had the opportunity to use more Victorian artefacts: a washing posser, wash boards, carpet beaters. The children took turns in washing clothes, folding the laundry, beating carpets and polishing boots. Trevor also demonstrated how a “mangle” worked.

Our next stop was the kitchen where once again everyone was set a task. The children prepared roast stuffed apples (the roasting took place back at school). We also attempted to make lemonade Victorian style but, to the children’s delight, we ended up with a lemonade volcano!

Our tour ended with a question and answer session in the main hall.

The children had a really great time.

Many thanks to Davina,  Helen, Nicola, Jane and Sue for their help and support on the day.

The children looked amazing in their costumes (a big thank you to all the parents) and they were a real credit to Skippers Hill.

Miss Murphy

See photos from Years 2's visit to Preston Manor here.

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