A day in the past.

Try to remain calm… We left the house, all of us, in one go. We went somewhere. We had a nice time. Miracles!

Lots of our friends have started doing Tudor reenactment at Kentwell Hall. You might think we would be dead certs for this, I certainly have always wanted to do something of the sort and I had planned to do it last year. But with one thing and another I was not in the right head place for it last year and I knew I wanted to be enjoying Ben this year, assuming he made it here, so I couldn’t plan ahead, never mind sew costumes in preparation for an event taking place in a year I couldn’t imagine ever arriving.

Anyway, we really wanted to see our friends in action and make a visit to see if we might apply to join them next year, so off we trotted. The year was 1556 and we were keen to enjoy a day at an event which is living history rather than history to look at. On arrival, having met up with Zoe, Skye and Poppy, we went through the very dark time tunnel and arrived in the past, straighti not the arms of the players who got all the girls straight into dancing with them.

All the enacters are fully in character at all times. It was, in truth, rather odd to speak with friends in the tongue common to the age, but rather easier when it was people we hadn’t met before. In fact, it was quite quickly rather harder to remember to speak in modern English, a little like we tend to revert to pigeon English if speaking to a frenchman for example.

I loved it :)

The master of arms kindly granted me my own heraldic device, based upon my name (rays of sun with la monde upon them) and yarn, my flute and sewing with the key of our city and an iris. His wife spoke much to us, congratulating me on my handsome family and busy life.

We visited indoors and spent some time in the kitchen. Loved the sweet making (the word escapes me). Maybe I should work there and use my fimo making skills!

We spent some time listening to the musicians too and speaking with them. Fran was really interested in the lyres but we stumbled a bit as, naturally, the musicians looked blankly at us when we asked if it was similar to playing the cello. One of them helpfully understood that we spoke of a relative of the violin and went to get her violin (played along the arm) to show us.

Outdoors we got to visit the bakery, the dairy, the archers, the cott, the merchants and lots of crafts people. All the girls enjoyed different things.

I imagine Maddy might quite enjoy working with master Robert the archer.

I have to admit I fell deeply in love with the dyers and would love to work with them and Fran is keen to be apprenticed to the felters or the spinners and weavers. That girl has been overdue becoming a Tudor for ten years now.

Whether the weavers can make something of that daughter that I have yet to manage to achieve we shall see!

They ended the day throwing themselves into the festivities and have come home Speaking of little else than how to survive a year till they can join in. We shall see! A great day though, well worth a visit. It’s not a cheap day but memorable and enchsnting if you can afford it. I loved the small touches, like changing our money into pennies and groats and buying from pedlars. It was fantastic :)

 

  4 comments for “A day in the past.

  1. July 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Subtleties :)

    I’d quite like another crack at felting but I suspect my future lies in the barnschool for the time being.

  2. Sarah E
    July 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I LOVE Kentwell Hall! I went there on a school trip as a child and have never forgotten it – I looked at the website only last week and wondered if we could get there any time soon. I would love to go back to the Tudor recreation I remember, but I think that the OH might like the more modern Wartime recreations, so now I am torn! Thanks for sharing the photos and the day out – so glad you enjoyed it, and it has made me more determined to go back one day!

  3. claire
    July 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I too went on a school trip as a child and loved it , in fact it was the ‘ferret man’ who made me spend the next three years nagging my parents for pet ferrets! (i got them in the end and they were great).

    Took our children there last year and they all loved it too, this post is bringing back lovely memories and maybe its time I had some more ferrets!

  4. Michelle
    July 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I thought subtlety making would be perfect for you but I guess not giving you a chance to learn something new. The dyers did an amazing woad dye bath – the line was strung with bright blue dyed linens. Was fantastic.

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