I’ve always being interested in Christmas customs and traditions so last year on the Sunday just before Christmas when one of the parents of two sisters that I taught nearly 40 years ago was visiting me and mentioned that she had just come from nearby Little Morton Hall, a National Trust property, that was displaying how the Tudors celebrated their past Christmases my ears perked up.
When she left here it was nearly 2.30pm and although I knew that closing time there was at 4.00pm and dusk was already settling in I quickly grabbed a couple of dolls and my camera and headed off there.
I spent an enjoyable hour wandering around and promised myself that I would come back next year with more time. So here I am.
1.On the 1st of December, the start of the time known as Advent, the Tudors would begin their Xmas preparations by fasting and not eating meat, eggs or cheese until Christmas Day to save money and food for the twelve days of feasting that would follow. (I’m now wondering if this is where The Twelve Days of Christmas’ song originated.) The Religious Teachings in those days instructed that all farmers had to lay down their tools for these twelve days and only tend to the feeding and welfare of the animals.
2.I rather like this view of the Tudor Manor House set amongst the trees. It was built to make a big impression and it certainly does just that.
It was constructed and built during the Tudor period with the earliest part in 1504-1508 and the final construction of the 68 foot Long Gallery at the top in 1610. It is this last addition that has put the pressure onto the floors below causing it to become bowed and crooked and causing amazement that it is still standing after 500 years.
This timber framed building curved around a scenic moat belonged to the Moreton Family for well over four hundred years.
During Advent they would collect thin Willow sticks and make them into circles and star shapes and then twine the collected Holly and Ivy from the surrounding environment using these to decorate their houses, both inside and out.
15. This jutting out extension above the kitchens was where the wild game was hung for approximately seven days out in the cool to age and tenderise the meat or poultry. (My mother used to do this with wild rabbits, pheasants and ducks in our cellar in the ‘olden’ days when I was young, before plucking and skinning them.)
16. The well in the courtyard. Felt a bit dizzy looking down it myself so didn’t dare let any of my dolls get too near.
36.Taking my cue from this visit I then made up a Holly Victorian Kissing Bunch and hung it outside by my front door to tone in with the trailing Ivy already in the chimney pot containers. Next year I plan to buy one of the alreay made Willow weaths from there and decorate it myself with Holly and Ivy.
38.To be hopefully continued when time allows with their magnificent Christmas food displays.
Cast. 1970 Trendon wide faced brunette Gingham in a Sharon Humphrey’s Ra-ra dress and socks, Dollydoodle’s hoodie and JJ sandals. Gotz 1990s customised by Raven Toddler, Bea, in a Passion for Sasha coat, Christine Durand hat, Ruthsdoll’s tights and Lisa ‘s boots. and thirdly, Lisa Hartley re-rooted early 1970sTrendon baby nightdress in a Dollydoodle’s outfit and Gotz shoes.
Plus an unknown young male visitor .
(Sorry haven’t been in to take any photos of MY decorations or presents as yet but hopefully later next week when Chon has returned home and in-between family and friend’s visits to here.)