Sunday, June 19, 2011


Enjoyed meeting the lovely Mistress Angharad (pictured) who gave an excellent talk the other night giving us all a taste of Kentwell Hall in Long Melford, Suffolk, a place I’ve visited in the past. As a ‘Tudor nut’, Kentwell Hall is the place to be in the summer. Every year, their Great Annual Re-Creation is set in a different year of the 120 years of the Tudor period. Kentwell's Tudors react to the outside events of that year as if they were actually taking place then and they really do speak ‘Tudorese’. Mistress Angharad is the cook at Kentwell and showed us how to make ‘Tussie Mussies’ using herbs and edible flowers.

There's so much for visitors to experience at Kentwell Hall. More than 200 participants (up to 400 at weekends) at any one time are there, creating the dress, speech, food, drink, music, dance, crafts, activities, pleasures and way of life of the chosen year. This year is 1553 and visitors feel they have been transported back to a whole 16th century community in which everyone is dependant upon each other. This is how life actually was not just a series of demonstrations.

At the Hall- meet members of the Clopton family (who built and lived at Kentwell during the 16th century), their friends as well as those retainers working at the Hall and in its service building those who serve them. All carry on as each might have done then. Here and in its original service building of 1500, the Moat House, you may meet members of the Cloptons and their friends from young children to aged relatives perhaps engaged in business or relaxing with music & dance; their Stewards, Butler, Housekeeper & Pages attending upon them. Mistress Angharad and her cooks in the Great Kitchen & Subtlety-makers, Bakers in the Bakehouse, Brewers in the Brewhouse, Dairymaids in the Dairy, Ladies making potions & lotions in the Stillroom.wordsmen & Gunners, Wrights, Netmakers and Bookbinders among dozens of other craftsmen. Not everything takes place every day but most things do on most days.

Opening Days & Times: The Re-Creation is Open to the public on Saturdays & Sundays and the last Friday between 19 June and 10 July from 10am to 5pm. Other days are reserved for pre-booked school parties. Telephone: 01787 310207