Victorian Christmas at Beaulieu

Year 4 teacher Mrs Grosscurth writes:

Upon our arrival at Beaulieu, dressed in our Victorian finest, we braved the cold and frosty weather and boarded an old fashioned open top bus and headed to Palace House.

Once at Palace House we were greeted by Miss Clarke the Governess. Miss Clarke gave everyone a lesson in etiquette, we learned about the role of a governess and how to greet Lord and Lady Montagu. We then followed Miss Clarke up many flights of stairs into the beautifully decorated drawing room. Here we were all introduced to the Lord and Lady and Montagu.Curtseys and handshakes were the order of the day!

Once everyone was seated around the fire, we were all treated to hot chocolate and biscuits whilst listening to stories and festive jokes from Lord and Lady Montagu.Miss Clarke then took us all down to the kitchen where we learnt about what life would be like for a Victorian maid in a large house.  The girls were amazed with the weight of the pans that they would have been expected to carry.

Our morning activities were followed by a festive lunch accompanied by the Lord and Lady in the Garden Room. After Lord Henry had said grace the girls were treated to a three courseVictorian lunch, served to them by the maids and butlers. The festive punch and chocolate gateaux went down especially well!

After lunch it was the girls turn to entertain the Lord and Lady. The girls sang beautifully and some bravely volunteered to accompany the singing with piano playing. The girls also recited A night before Christmas. Much to the great delight of all the girls myself and Mr Marshall had to dance with each other and then with Lord and Lady Montagu. Unfortunately we didn’t score very highly in the Strictly Come Dancing stakes.

The day concluded with more carol singing around the fire and we boarded the open top bus singing rounds of We Wish you a Merry Christmas. The singing got louder and louder as we drove through grounds much to the delight of all the other visitors.

The trip made for an excellent start to festive period as well as reinforcing our history work on the Victorians.