A Tudor Christmas Part 2

Having looked at the Tudor starters and main course meals last week, we are concentrating today on their ‘sweet meats’ as they were called. (Samples of these were laid out on for us to view on this impressive round table standing in the bay window in the parlour.)


Oak table with circular top in eight main sections, the octagonal frame below with shallow ogee arches in the friezes. Crude fluted column legs and stretcher at floor level. Identified with 'the great rounde table in the parlour' in the inventory of 1601, which was valued at 10 shillings. Its shape suggests it was designed to stand in one of the bay windows of 1559. In 1654 the furnishings consisted of a large table valued at £3 6s 8d (almost certainly the round table).

Oak table with circular top in eight main sections, the octagonal frame below with shallow ogee arches in the friezes. Crude fluted column legs and stretcher at floor level. Identified with ‘the great rounde table in the parlour’ in the inventory of 1601, which was valued at 10 shillings. Its shape suggests it was designed to stand in one of the bay windows of 1559. In 1654 the furnishings consisted of a large table valued at £3 6s 8d (almost certainly the round table).

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‘We’ started off very nicely with this little Trendon baby having a closer look and occasionally handling a few of the sweets until a rather ‘bossy National Trust guide’ decided that ‘we’ weren’t allowed to touch the displays as such ….and so ‘that was that!’
Many of the sweets like these were Marzipan based (and I just love marzipan!) decorated with nuts, dates  etc.

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Scones, preserved fruits in syrups, tarts, cakes and biscuits were in plentiful supply and looked deliciously tempting.

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(There were some bacon rasher samples that you could try like these shown here and they were delicious.) My mother used to make us Marzipan fruits like the ones below and often put them into boxes to give as presents.

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Like this idea of spaying the nuts with gold and might try it with mine this year.

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We were treated to a small glass of this warm cider drink as we arrived along with a ginger biscuit made from a Tudor recipe. (Liked reading here how the tradition of when we ‘toast’ a person started.)

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There was always plenty of merry entertainment over the Tudor Christmas 12 days especially with the Jesters. (My three Sasha Dolls were thrilled with how he interacted with them showing no embarrassment in front of the onlookers.)

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Before getting ready to head for home we quickly went into an adjoining room to see some remains of the wall covering on one of the walls and whilst there my Sashas wanted to have their photo taken on the two wooden chairs that were made during this period.

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This second ‘carving’ chair was very similar to our childhood family home’s dining chairs. The carving chairs always had arms on them for the head or ‘carver’ of each family. The other chairs didn’t have arms.

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The next two photos show details of our family’s dining chairs. Unfortunately our carving chair is at the end of the table and so out of this photo (and please note our very old hand carved refectory table made from one long oak tree trunk and which can seat eight people. Well it had to as there were seven of US to begin with!)


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Have always loved window seats.
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Couldn’t leave without showing you a photo of their loo which was situated in the long thin jutting out structure on the front of the building and led directly into the moat below.

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I felt quite dizzy when I leant over to look down into it’s depths.

A Tudor Christmas 117I popped into the main bedroom as we made our way up to the long gallerywith this four poster bed and wooden chest at the bottom. The beds were always heavily curtained to keep out the drafts and cold.

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By the side of the parent’s four poster bed was this small child’s bed.

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Was interested to see how they hung their clothes that weren’t in use just like some of us  still tend to do in our hallways.

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I was very impressed with how they had constructed this clothes rail.

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This panel slid to the side revealing a sercret entrance to a priest’s hide-away.

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The priest’s bed underneath which was an underground escape passage.

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The long gallery which was a later addition to the hall and which allowed the ladies to take some exercise in the bad weather without them getting the hems of their dresses muddy.

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The Chapel with it’s Nativity scene.
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Thank you for visiting us here again and we do hope that you have enjoyed seeing and learning a little about the Tudor Yuletide.

Unfortunately my 60 Sasha cards arrived back from the printers yesterday but are just too ‘wishy-washy’ to send on account of me lightning them too much (being taken indoors on a rather dull day.) Not sure now if there is time for me to do another one and have it printed but if not I do apologise for the lack of a card this year and will definitely try to do better in 2016.

The Sasha Brood and I wish you a very happy Christmas/holiday and will be especially thinking of those of you who are unfortunately ill, homeless, lonely or have no family to join them at this time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


20 thoughts on “A Tudor Christmas Part 2

    • Yes, the Jester was a great sport and in front of all those on-lookers!
      Was concerned if the actual waste product did make it’s way down to the moat in the end or did it get stuck to the walls on it’s way down but didn’t dare think any more on the subject!

  1. What an interesting post of the visit Kendal. Loved how the Jester interacted with the dolls and so much food! Loved seeing all the room settings, that bed looked lovely with the sun shining through the curtains onto the pillows.
    I to love window seats and am always wishing I could somehow get one into each house I have owned!
    many thanks for sharing all these interesting photo’s and facts with us. Have a lovely Christmas and New year. Dee :)xxxx

    • I too thought just how careful he was holding the dolls and using his hand to support their feet with the two that could stand..
      Must be great to sit there and look out of the window.
      Must say that I hadn’t noticed the point about the sun shining in on the bed as was more concerned with the lack of drapes surrounding the child’s bed.
      Thanks for the good Christmas and New Year wishes.
      PS. Not being carried away by you and making any stupid Sasha Doll number wishes this year………..although I know that there has to be quite a few reductions made after the Sasha Celebration Weekend as space here is way past the minimum point!

  2. Great post Kendal, l loved seeing all the sweet treats that the Tudors used to eat, it’s funny that we still have quite a few similar items these days too, isn’t it! I know that here in Spain, marzipan fruits and fish shapes are still very popular at this time of year, as are lots of different sweet things made using almonds.
    It was great how the jester took the girls without batting an eyelid! He looked to be particularly careful with them too.
    I noticed that in photo #37 a little spirit is hovering over your Sasha! Now is she leaving her or actually joining her? I say ‘she’, the spirit could of course be that of a mischevious little boy, couldn’t it!
    That loo made me laugh, it’s fortunate that it was actually built so that the jutting out part went all the way to the ground, I have seen them where the upstairs part is jutting out and the waste products just fell straight through a hole into the moat, as the lower floor levels didn’t have the jutting out bit!!!! Wouldn’t like to be strolling along by that moat 😉
    What a shame on the Christmas cards, better luck next year! I had great intentions for mine too…didn’t happen!!
    Have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
    Hugs Sharon x

    • Oh gosh! I hadn’t noticed about that little spirit! The sun was pouring through the windows at the point that it was quite difficult to see the overall picture. VERY observant of you.
      I was thrilled with the way the Jester handled my precious girls.
      I had hoped that this ‘loo’ might interest people! Not sure just who was allowed to actually use it. Can’t imagine that ‘all and sundry’ were granted permission to use the facilities especially with it being situated on the first floor.
      I’m really disappointed about the cards especially after deciding to go for the slightly bigger size this year. Shouldn’t have left things so late!
      Thanks for the Christmas and New Year wishes!

  3. Merry Christmas, Kendal – Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!

    I enjoy the photos and the virtual sweets. Ah – I just wanted to taste them! I’m as interested as you in these old buildings and the everyday live of the people in other centuries!
    (My fav -photo is nr.38.
    So lifelike: the dollie running along the gallery and above all the white paper(?)stars!)

    • Many thanks for the Christmas and New Year wishes.
      The marzipan bacon rasher was indeed delicious especially as I love marzipan and usually save this to the last when eating iced fruit cakes
      The Long Gallery is very impressive but has a really wobbly floor surface. The white paper stars were made by the visiting children and then hung as a display. There were other activities for them too including shaped pastry making.and making a star shape from a piece of willow which actually my Sasha had a go at but I forgot to include her photos.

  4. My mouth is truly watering now after seeing all those lovely sweets and desserts! Most especially for the marzipan fruits and those ‘eggs and bacon’ ones! I am glad you got a lot of photos taken before Bossy Guide came along Kendal! What a beautiful Tudor house to visit, thank you for showing us. Sorry to hear about your Christmas cards, how disappointing for you but I am sure they are not quite as bad as you think. Lots of Christmas blessings, Janet xx

    • Oh! I’m afraid that they are BAD! Very, very bad! Couldn’t have been worse and especially as I had this year decided to have them printed to a larger size. That will teach me not to leave things until the last minute!
      I too was impressed with all the tiny details to the ‘sweet meats’ but what made my day was reading about the ‘hale and hearty’ hot drink and how it started our tradition of ‘toasting’ people. I just love learning new unexpected knowledge.
      Many thanks for the Christmas blessings. Thinking that I will most certainly need them with being so behind with my Christmas preps!

      • I love that about the toast too, it is very gratifying to find the meaning of something we do everyday and don’t really think about. I forgot to mention what a good sport the Jester was as well, people like that just make your day. x

  5. I love history and especially medaeival history and these pics are fab and I love the jesters attitude to the dolls and the pictures he is wonderful. Also like Janet Myhill Dabbs I agree the cards wont be so terrible as your pics are always lovely so dont get more done because people will appreciate them no end I betcha!
    Love to you and the brood from all your nieces and nephews of the Rabble xxx

    • The Jester was terrific and didn’t utter one word of complaint even though it was bitter cold out there.
      Little Moreton Hall is a wonderfully intriguing place and luckily only five kilometres away so easily assessable ….although rather expensive to get in..
      I can assure you the cards were just so wishy-washy that I couldn’t waste even putting a stamp to them.
      Thanks for the love for me and The Brood.

  6. Hi Kendal and thank you for another lovely Tudor Christmas post. I really enjoyed seeing this post that featured so many good things to eat and such inviting table settings. I particularly like your family’s oak table made of a single tree trunk. What a beautiful piece of furniture it is as are your carved chairs. All very wonderful and very special. 🙂

    I read Sharon’s comments and just had to go and take a peek at your Sasha’s little visiting “spirit”. What a unusual sight to see! For me, the Jester stole the show and I am thinking that he is very used to stealing the show with his bright costume and bright smile and personality. Just fantastic to see him with the Sashas. 🙂

    I am so sorry your Sasha Christmas cards did not turn out as you had hoped. It seems like the time has just been flying by and Christmas will be here next week! I do want to wish you the very best Christmas celebration ever and I am sending you and your brood much love at this wonderful time of year. Have a blessed Christmas with your family and friends and a Very Happy New Year too! ❤ xxx

    • Thanks for your super comment. We all loved our family’s antique hand carved dining table and chairs which provided some wonderful family times and now treasured memories.
      I too hadn’t noticed the little ‘spirit’ until after reading Sharon’s comment and so like you had to go back to see just what she meant.
      The Jester was really great and so polite and pleasant to us visitors.. I met him on both of my two Christmas visits. He was extremely entertaining with his juggling and diabalo skills/tricks..My sister was terrific with the diabalo.
      Many thanks for your Christmas and New Year love and blessings.

  7. What a fabulous post! I so enjoyed reading it! I am letting Christmas pass me by this year (you know how much I hate it!) but am sending love and best wishes to you and all Sasha doll lovers out there! Merry Christmas and best wishes for TWENTY SIXTEEN!

    • Many thanks for our Christmas and New Year wishes. To have you back here and commenting on the Sasha circuit is wonderful for me and The Brood as we have missed you over the past year.
      I fully appreciate that Christmas is not for everyone and many have their own private reasons for this.
      Also seeing happy families enjoying getting and celebrating together does unfortunately highlight the lonely, homeless, chronically ill and, poorer members and families in our society which makes me feel incredibly sad..
      Please take extra good care of yourself.
      Miss Nobody and McCarthy both send you their love.,

  8. Thanks K 🙂 I quite agree Christmas can be such a lonely time for some who through no fault of their own have to deal with the hand life has dealt them. I think it is absolutely lovely of you to mention this in your blog and I, for one, will be thinking and helping in a very tiny way financially this year to my favourite Shelter charity and hope to be able to offer more support next year when hopefully things here will improve!!
    Please send my love to all your brood …plus a big hug for Miss Lippy!!

    • Miss Lippy says a big thank you for the love. So sorry that I hadn’t mentioned her in this latest post as hadn’t realised then that you were back in the system so to speak!

      I do try to do MY bit although it’s more social rather than financial by visiting or phoning to as many lonely or house bound people as I can around this time..I know many of you are now thinking ‘poor souls’ ….but I am quite chatty and entertaining..

      We also have a rather lovely idea in our church where there is a Christmas Tree that the poorer people can hang a tag listing something that they would like. We then read and choose one or two of these, buyand after it wrapping place it under the tree with their name on.

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