On a gloriously hot and sunny day 35 girls travelled the short hop over to Knole House to pay our regular visit to ‘our’ house. We were met by Barbara, the wonderful lady who led our events for the day. We quickly deposited our bags in a little room, grabbed water bottles and headed off for our first two activities.
The girls were split into two mixed-age groups. Whilst the first group went to try on costumes, the 2nd group head-ed off for a walk round the park. On our walk we first met some of the local residents, aka the Fallow Deer, who were relaxing just outside the main courtyard. We then headed off to a wooded area where we learnt how to tell the age of a tree without chopping it down! You measure the circumference about a metre up the tree and divide it in two. Finally, we wandered down to the Gallops. This area was originally a river bed but it is now dried up and the river is underground. Here we learnt that prehistoric people would have lived there as flints had been found nearby.
Group Two meanwhile, were trying on various costumes. As in all country houses of the period, there would have been lots of people who lived and worked in Knole House and each person would have been recognised by the clothes they wore. The girls dressed up as nursery maids, house keepers, kitchen staff, needlewomen and many other occupations as well as rich ladies and children.
After a lovely picnic lunch in the courtyard, during which we were joined by Mrs Scott, the girls split into KS1 and KS2 groups. The younger girls headed off to do various music and dancing activities whilst the older girls learnt how to write with a quill. It was not nearly as easy as many thought and much ink found its way everywhere apart from on the paper! Eventually, however, the girls managed to write their names and a motto on the front of a little Tudor booklet and draw their own coat of arms.
All too soon, however, we were collecting our bags and heading back to the coach and went back to school. There we were given our goody bags and hot and tired, we were reunited with our parents.