On the 6th of November 2014 two year six classes from St Peter and St Paul C of E Academy went to Beaumanor Hall [a Victorian manor] for a Victorian day, where the children did several activities to find out what life would have been like for a Victorian child, at work and school.
First, when we arrived at Beaumanor Hall the two group leaders, Jane and Sue, took us to the base room and told us about the history of Beaumanor and it’s owners. We learnt that there have been three Beaumanor Halls. The third one [that still stands today] was built by William Perry-Herick; it took 11 years to build because he ran out of money half way through building it. So he used his inheritance from his uncle, who had no heirs, to finish the grand building.
Next, we went to the school room, that had been cleverly painted and designed to portray a Victorian classroom. In the classroom we chanted the alphabet backwards, wrote the alphabet in Victorian copperplate handwriting [where every left handed person including myself had to write with their right hand] and maths using a blackboard and chalk. They also told us about the punishments that would have been administered on the children.
When the groups swapped over, we saw what life was like for the servants. In the servants quarters we did three activities that our teacher was marking us on and even got time to look at the cooking museum. Our first activity was in the linen room – it was very dark! In the linen room we used irons that would have been heated on the fire to iron a crumpled sheet which we then wrapped in brown paper and tied it up with string to stop moths from getting to the fabric just like the Victorians would have done. In the next room we had to dress mannequins as if we were a valet or a lady’s maid, the buttons on the clothes were very hard to do up! Our last activity was in the laundry room, we grated soap to wash the clothes with and pumped water from the water pump to use as well. We put the soap and the water into a large barrel with the clothing and used the dolly to wash it.
At lunch we played various Victorian games including: fishing, skipping and hop scotch. Everyone joined in skipping on the long rope and if you went on the wrong side you would be eliminated from that game – we kept going until we found a winner. I even won one round!
After lunch, we had a tour around Beaumanor and it’s grounds. Sadly, we could not go upstairs because there was a conference but we saw the imposing oak doors, Portland stone fireplaces and walls. We learnt that the Perry-Herick family crest was lots of family crests put together and the family’s animal was a bull to show that they are a strong family like their family animal.
Overall, I think that the trip to Beaumanor Hall was an outstanding success and it is a trip that we will never forget. We owe a huge thanks to everyone who works there for such a great day.