Local school children were transported back to the Victorian era during a visit to Holkham Hall which featured a top hat, a tiara and a feather duster.
Fifteen pupils aged six to 11 from Holkham House at Brancaster CE VA Primary School discovered at first hand what it was like to be part of life in a stately home in Victorian times by taking on various roles from the household.
The children each chose a prop from a selection of items including a shaving brush, top hat, tiara and feather duster. Viscountess Coke gave a tour of the Hall with the children playing the role of the person who would have used that item.
In the dining room those playing the Earl and Countess of Leicester put on their top hat and tiara for dinner and were served by the footman, butler and lady’s maid.
Flowers from the groundsman decorated the table and the gamekeeper gave his duck to the cook in the kitchen ready for the pot.
Other scenes featured the valet shaving the Earl and the lady’s maid attending to the Countess in the bathroom of the Parrot Bedroom.
The children also had a tour of Holkham Park to see the deer and collect wood, leaves and twigs for a mini beast project back in the school classroom. They visited the magnificent Temple in the park to learn about shapes of buildings and the Bygones Museum to see the old laundry and compare the mangle and press with today’s modern equipment. The day was finished off with a treat of Holkham ice-cream.
Sarah Bocking, head teacher at Brancaster CE VA Primary School, said: “Our school feels that being part of the local community is very important and we like to make links with local people and places wherever and whenever we can. We named the school houses after the three big local estates and were thrilled when Viscountess Coke agreed to come and talk to us about Holkham so that the children in Holkham House could understand about their house and feel part of it.
Since then, Viscountess Coke has been wonderfully supportive towards us.
She kindly organised this visit, choosing activities that ensured the children really learnt from their experience.”