Exploring Tudor Heritage

A visit to Selly Manor in Bournville brought Tudor history to life for our Form 5 pupils. One of our young reporters, Raina, shares their experiences of what life was like in Tudor times.


Reviewed by Young Reporter Raina (Form 5)

We now know some amazing things about the Tudors. Our guide India showed us all the rooms within the house and as we visited each room she explained its original use and we took part in activities.

In the dining room we had to lay the table and put the cups and plates on the table where they should be. At the head of the table the father would sit so the metal plates and cups, which were the most expensive ones, would go near the top end of the table. There were also clay and wooden plates that we had to decide where to put.

Tudors often had furniture which would be multi-purpose and do more than one thing. We saw a chair that turned into storage and into a table! In the kitchen we saw an incredible invention that the Tudors made. There was a weight on the bottom of a rope, and a handle that you would turn, and the weight would slowly move upward, causing the spit in front of the fire to turn and cook the food. If they hadn’t invented this, then the youngest child would have to sit by the spit and turn it for six hours! The youngest child would be very unlucky, because they would have to be the ones to do the horrible jobs.

When they built the house, they made it out of wood. They also used a mixture that included cow poo, cow wee and mud to build the house and the youngest child would have to take their shoes off and walk round in the mixture to mix it. The Tudors would weave sticks together then put the mixture on top of them - this was called wattle and daub.

When we went upstairs, we saw the bedroom and the servants' beds and found out that they only had an outside toilet so, if they needed the toilet at night, they’d have to do it in a pot. In the morning they’d throw it out the window and, so everyone knew to move out the way, they would shout 'Gardyloo' which means watch out for the water!

Part of our experience while we were there was to dress up in Tudor costumes. The women wore long dresses and hats, and the men wore jackets and hats. The visit was lots of fun but also educational.