We offer a choice of Tudor workshops covering two different periods (click the link for each listing):

In-School Day

The children are dressed in Tudor clothing and use small hammers to tap patterns into leather during our KS2 Tudor workshop.
Children make leather bookmarks during a Life in Tudor England workshop.

It is the year of our Lord 1536, and it is a difficult time in the court of King Henry VIII. His second wife, Anne Boleyn, has not produced a male heir and has fallen out of favour with the King. Rumours are swirling about the Queen’s behaviour – is it possible she has committed treason? What might Henry do?

The children become courtiers and servants of the time period. The tasks they complete would be typical of the era, including writing with quills, soap making and sewing, among others.

The afternoon features a Tudor “banquet” — it is time to celebrate Henry’s new queen!

(View our risk assessment of the day’s activities in new tab.)

Christmas Edition: A holiday version of our Tudor day explores events that occur in the second half of 1536, including the Pilgrimage of Grace that saw Northern protests against Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries. Emphasis is placed on Christmas traditions of the period, and activities have a holiday twist.


How You Contribute to the Day

To make the most of your children’s day, please help us with the following:

  • Adult helpers: The number of children participating determines how many work stations our Teacher brings. Please recruit a corresponding number of adults (teachers, TAs, parents) to oversee the activities and the afternoon session. (Your booking form lists the exact number needed.)
  • The school hall: Please reserve the school hall for the full day (it is not a problem if it is used for lunch).
  • Food: Please provide a small amount of food for the afternoon banquet. (It is a very small amount that helps set the scene — you can find details in the booklet when it arrives.)
  • Costumes: Please encourage the children to dress up in simple costumes. It helps them feel the part.

Please note that we still require adult helpers for in-school days. If this conflicts with your schools coronavirus policies, please let us know — a virtual workshop might be a better option for your school.


What to Wear

Costumes need not be complicated — we suggest the following “homemade” alternatives:

  • Boys: A large, plain shirt with a large collar; a belt or cord at the waist; plain, dark, baggy trousers tucked into long socks.
  • Girls: A plain shirt with large collar; a long, plain skirt; a plain white apron; a plain white kerchief for the head.

For those who prefer, we offer a bespoke costume service through History Off the Peg. We sell inexpensive costumes for both children and adults.

View costume options and pricing on our website, www.historyoffthepeg.co.uk. Place an order by sending an e-mail containing your name, your school, the date of the event, the topic, your child’s age and your child’s size to ddworkshop@icloud.com.


Virtual Workshop

Welcome to Apethorpe Palace, the home of Sir Anthony Mildmay and his family. It is 1599, the 41st year of Good Queen Bess’ reign. Lady Grace Mildmay is your hostess, and she is planning a banquet soon — she hopes you can help with the preparations! Thankfully Queen Elizabeth will not be attending … this time. It is very expensive to entertain the queen and her court!

The narrative contrasts life for the rich and for the poor. Topics covered during the workshop include:

  • Where people lived and what their living conditions were like
  • Elizabethan clothing fashions
  • Food, table manners and customs
  • Attitudes toward education
  • Typical jobs of the Elizabethan era
  • Leisure activities and entertainments
  • Crime and punishment


How Does the Workshop Work?

The new workshops consist of two key elements:

  • A box packed with individual activities kits for each child in your group (plus a few extra, just in case). The kits contain up to six activities, which the children can do at their own desks.
  • A pre-recorded video made by our knowledgeable teachers that leads the children through the narrative and gives purpose to the activities they do along the way.

The workshops can take place in your own room at your own pace – we give you access to the video for several days, so you can rewind, replay, or break up the activities as you see fit.

With stopping to do the activities, the workshops typically fill up to half a day.

For a small additional fee, you can also choose to add on an hour of “live” teaching time with one of our qualified teachers. This extra time, which takes place via video conferencing software, is a chance to add extra engagement to the day – the children can prepare questions, take notes from the answers, discuss artefacts and explore the materials used to make them, and generally probe further into the learning.


What Activities are Included?

The objects include a Fox and Geese game on cloth with clay pieces, a round paper dessert trencher, a pleated paper ruff collar, a small sachet of herbs, a small clay mug with two handles and a purse made of gathered leatherette.
Objects the children make during the Tudor England: Life under Elizabeth virtual workshop.

As mentioned, each child will receive an activities kit to match the video. There are a few basic supplies such as scissors, pencils and rulers that the school will need to provide, but otherwise the children will receive the necessary materials to make six projects:

  • A nosegay
  • A ruff
  • A dessert trencher
  • A tyg (clay mug)
  • A Fox and Geese game
  • A purse

The workshop will also come with an information sheet for teachers, which will detail the learning outcomes, extra supplies that might be needed and possible follow-up learning.


How Much Does a Virtual Workshop Cost?

The pricing scheme is straightforward. We charge £300.00 for the first 30 children, plus £6.00 for each additional child (the costs are inclusive of 20% VAT, which the school can claim back.) Shipping is free.

The optional hour of video conferencing with one of our knowledgeable teachers can be purchased for an additional £60.00 (incl. 20% VAT).


How Do I Book a Workshop?

Please feel free to contact us by form, e-mail or telephone. Let us know the week you would like to use the workshop, and whether you would like the optional live teaching time, and we are happy to help.

Since the virtual workshops do not depend on our diary, there is no limit on when they can be ordered. Once full payment is received, we can turn them around and get them into schools within days. (Or they can be ordered well ahead and delivery scheduled – it is very flexible.)