Year 5 Time-Travellers’ Day at Knebworth

On the 11th May 2012, year 5 took a trip back in time, 500 years back, to the Tudors where the Lytton family lived and still live today. When we arrived we were greeted by a lady dressed as a young Tudor girl. She called herself Lady Elizabeth and showed us into a huge hall. It was a grand hall with a big patterned rug, also Tudor paintings on the wall and a big old-fashioned fireplace.

lyonsdown prep year 5 knebworth house

First of all we made a timeline which started at Henry VII and ran to the present day. During this we also learnt that the Lytton family had played a big role alongside the Tudors. Queen Elizabeth 1 had danced in the very hall we were standing in 500 years ago! We split into three groups of seven and our first activity was to try to dance like Tudors and it was easy: you have to take a small step diagonally and then lift your body so you are standing on tip-toe. We did a Tudor dance called the pavan.

Two of the girls were picked, me and Maya, to try on some Tudor clothes. I had to wear a petticoat, then a long dress which went below my ankles, as it was fashionable. The dress had a triangular slit in it so I had to wear a little red apron over the petticoat to make it red inside the slit. The head-dress was the same colour as the dress and had a veil attached. Maya, the boy, wore breeches, a shirt, a petticoat and a feathered hat. It was a very funny sight.

Then we went into the library to do some Tudor calligraphy. We walked through a bookcase to get there! The library and the doors were full of books and we saw the alphabet which was very different to our own one now. So we tried to write our name. Tudor writing was quite hard to do as they wrote differently from us. It was very funny because we had to get our letters at the right angle as they were on the sheet.

We also learnt that the Tudors loved jousting (and King Henry VIII was quite fond of it himself when he was young and slimmer). They did archery and they had a heraldry room where they kept all their shiny armour. We saw a knight suit and we got to try on a helmet, it was really HEAVY!

My favourite part of the day was looking in Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom; it was very well-decorated with a silk bedcover, a grand dressing-table with all different types of jewels on and then a stone fireplace. It had pictures hung up everywhere.

Outside we went and looked at the walled garden. In it were different plants which included rosemary which smelt very nice. There was some sage and thyme and parsley too. My favourite smell was the mint. I enjoyed finding out about what the Tudors ate and the gardens where they grew their food. The gardens were beautiful with their amazing flowers.

My favourite thing was the Hunt. The Hunt was when you had to search around the garden and the forest looking for pictures of: a fox, a rabbit, a duck and a dog. They were all very hard to find because they were up high and down low, but in the end we found them all. (I slipped when I was running and got green on my dress).

It was my favourite school trip and I would like to go there again with my family. The guides taught us so much about the Tudors. Thanks to Lady Anne, Lady Elizabeth and Lady Julia; all of them really helped us to learn more. We couldn’t have done it without the Lytton family either who made this grand home.

Contributors: Maya Lee, Claire , Dana, Riah, Nikita, Christina, Miya, Sophia, Amy, Anna-Georgia, Chaandni, Maisie, and Mia S.

Many thanks to Mrs P (Mia’s mum) who accompanied us on our trip.