Posted in See collection Online

Touching up Tudor portraits… How does the NPG restore and care for such old paintings?

The National Portrait Gallery in London tells the fascinating stories of people and their lives. The Gallery has a vast amount of original Tudor portraits from the very large to the very strange. It is free to enter and this year they are running free summer schools for 14 to 21-year-old where all materials are provided. Imagine learning to draw in such an amazing place. It’s free but places fill up fast so booking is essential.

 Book here:

Conservation at the Gallery:


Monday 15 – Wednesday 17 August OR Monday 22 – Wednesday 24 August 11.00 – 16.30

Work with BP Portrait Award-winning artists to creatively explore portrait painting over three days. With a showcase event on Day 3.

Applications open Thursday 23 June and close 12.00 Wednesday 3 August 2016

PLEASE NOTE:  This class includes drawing from a nude model. A signed parent/guardian consent form is required for all participants aged eighteen and under.


Posted in Biographies

Man eating schemer or modern woman trapped in Tudor Skirts? Bess of Hardwick…

When Bess of Hardwick died, aged 81, she was the most powerful woman in Elizabethan England after the Queen. In her lifetime she had kept company with Mary Queen of Scots, married her grandchild into Royalty, was friends with Robert Dudley and William Cecil. She was close to the tragic Grey family and she was often at court. It is said that every aristocratic family in Britain has her blood running through their veins including the present Royal family. When Bess died she was the very wealthy Countess of Shrewsbury but her life had begun very differently.

There was nothing in Bess’s early life that indicated her great rise. Her family’s land was not valuable nor anything special; it was simply used to graze sheep. She was never a beautiful or a particularly well educated woman, which makes her spectacular rise to fame and fortune even more remarkable – this in an age when women had no legal rights. The best education a Tudor woman could hope to acquire was in sewing, music and perhaps if she was very fortunate the ability to read and write. Continue reading “Man eating schemer or modern woman trapped in Tudor Skirts? Bess of Hardwick…”

Posted in Places to visit

Bespoke Birthday Parties at the palace! Book now…

Historic Royal Palaces are now offering bespoke Children’s birthday parties at Hampton Court Palace to keep your Little Tudors entertained, intrigued and informed.

Available packages

Is your Prince or Princess about to celebrate a birthday? Or do you know a young King or Queen who would love to show their friends one of their palaces?

Then look no further than Hampton Court Palace!

There are four packages available and prices are £350 plus a price per child according to the package chosen.

Page or Maid of Honour: £350.00 plus £1.00 per child
(includes: staff support, entry, private room hire, facilitated Tudor trail/guided tour)

Knight or Lady: £350.00 plus £3.00 per child
(includes: Page/Maid package plus a craft activity)

Prince or Princess: £350.00 plus £7.50 per child
(includes: Page/Maid package plus children’s party food and birthday cup-cakes)

King or Queen: £350.00 plus £9.50 per child
(includes: Page/Maid package plus a craft activity and children’s party food and birthday cup-cakes)

Prices are valid until 28 February 2017


What’s included

All parties include staff support, entry, private room hire and a facilitated Tudor trail/guided tour.

All Little Tudors children’s birthday parties are held within palace opening hours and must have finished at least half an hour before the palace closes.

There is no minimum number of party attendees but the maximum number, including any siblings or relations taking part in the party, is 25.

Prices include entry and activities for two adults and the birthday child only. All other children – including siblings/relations – need to pay the applicable price per child.

If you have any queries please call 020 3166 6000. Otherwise return the completed booking form below, and the catering form where applicable, to:

The Contact Centre
Barrack Block
Hampton Court Palace

Fax: 020 3166 6514


If you are looking for a party to accommodate more than 25 guests or if you would like a private space near the Magic Garden (summer months only) please contact the Events Team on 020 3166 6507 or regarding hire of the Garden Room. The Garden Room hire fees start from £3,000 + VAT

Court Jester
Henry VIII’s court jester Will Somers entertaining the crowds at Hampton Court Palace. Feasting cooks, fire-eating fools, fan-faring musicians and masqued entertainers are all desperate to impress King Henry VIII as he celebrates the festive season in right royal style. Witness this extravagance of court life until New Year’s Day at Henry’s pleasure palace, Hampton Court Palace. Credit: Lawrence Looi / 28/12/2007


Posted in See collection Online

Tudor treasure lay buried for hundreds of years under London’s streets is now available to view online…

In June 1912, workmen demolishing an old timber framed building in London noticed something in the dirt as they were breaking up the cellar floor with their pick axes. As the soil was scraped away they uncovered an old wooden casket. Inside was a tangled mix of  precious Elizabethan jewellery unseen for hundreds of years.

The Horde has almost 500 dazzling gemstones from many parts of the world. There is a cameo of Elizabeth I, a gold watch set in a massive emerald from Colombia; sapphires, diamonds and rubies from the India and Sri Lanka; glistening pearls, opals and turquoise and Egyptian, Byzantine and classical gems. Continue reading “Tudor treasure lay buried for hundreds of years under London’s streets is now available to view online…”

Posted in Places to visit

Take a walk down the Time Tunnel and spend a day in the Elizabethan England…

The moat at Kentwell Hall.

I cannot put into words how good Kentwell Hall ‘do Tudor.’

If you want to experience an authentic recreation of Tudor England then this incredible Suffolk experience has to be the best. Kentwell Hall have been staging live Tudor events since 1978 and when they say  Our Tudor days are unrivalled in scale and ‘What we offer is still the biggest, most comprehensive, and most authentic Tudor experience you will get anywhere’ on their website they are not exaggerating! They have over 250 ‘Tudors’ who are enthusiastic and thoroughly absorbed in their Tudor roles. Continue reading “Take a walk down the Time Tunnel and spend a day in the Elizabethan England…”

Posted in Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday

Tudor doll’s house gift for the Queen and Free 90th birthday children’s Printables!

With it’s flushing lavatories, running hot and cold water and electric power  Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, has to be the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls’ house in the world. So what made the Queen Mother, purchase a modest Tudor doll’s house as a gift for (the then) Princesses Elizabeth instead?

The modest mock Tudor house bought for the Queen. Pictures from the Royal collection.

Continue reading “Tudor doll’s house gift for the Queen and Free 90th birthday children’s Printables!”

Posted in Places to visit, Tudor cookery

Tudor Cook-along videos and recipes!!

Fylettys en galentyn recipe: A rich dish of roast pork stewed in caramelised onion gravy…

fylettys_en_galentyne_314x205_2 (1)

 Ingredients: to make 4 portions

  • 400g (14 ounces) roast pork
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 pint (600ml) gravy – a good beef stock will do, with powdered pepper, cinnamon, cloves (one is plenty) and mace for an optional Tudor taste
  • 1 teacup of breadcrumbs – brown bread works best
  • 1 level teaspoon of vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Continue reading “Tudor Cook-along videos and recipes!!”

Posted in Tudor purfumes

Smell like Elizabeth I…

This little bottle of perfume has been made by following the original recipe for the scent worn by Queen Elizabeth I by Historic Royal Palaces and is on sale in their online gift shop.

The recipe is 400 years old and was discovered in a book at the Royal Horticultural Society’s library in London. The book is titled ‘The Mystery and Lure of Perfume’ by C J S Thompson. The recipe says:

”Take 8 grains of musk and put in rose-water 8 spoonfuls, 3 spoonfuls of Damask-water, and a quarter of an ounce of sugar. Boil for five hours and strain it”

This perfume is the closest we can get to knowing what the queen smelled of and it probably was very nice indeed.

Elizabeth I

Hieroglyphics in the Middle East show that Ancient Egyptians were making perfume 3,000 years before the birth of Christ but scent did not arrive in England until the sixteenth century.

Perfumes in Tudor and Elizabethan England were mainly used to cover up nasty smells. They made ‘pickled roses’ which we call ‘pot pourri’ today. It was made from flower petals and used to keep homes smelling fresh and disease free. Cardinal Wolsey was famous for always having a sweet smelling orange pomander  to ward off disease as he spoke to common people in the streets of London. There were no flushing toilets and lots of unhygienic practices in Tudor England and I imagine it was all a bit smelly!


Tudors used perfume in pomanders which rich women hung around their girdles or in their rooms. They believed that disease could be caught by bad smells which they called miasma.


Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII’s chief adviser.

Left: Mary Queen of Scots’ pomander. Right: A pomander purse  ( Both from her         Majesty’s Royal Collection.)

Tudor doctors thought miasma was a poisonous mist which caused disease. They believed miasma was found near any filthy or rotten smell. They used perfumes and pomanders to cover up the miasma and to protect themselves from illness. Plague doctors wore masks filled with flowers to try protect themselves too.

I discovered this wonderful website with lots of history crafts. Here is the link to their page about making your own Tudor pomanders:

A plague doctor

 Elizabeth I’s eau de toilette is sold in Historic Royal Palaces gift shops and online. Unfortunately this product can not be shipped overseas. Many reviewers on the gift shop website have discovered this after it a trip to London and been very disappointed not to be able to buy more from home by post. The online reviews are very good. I intend to put it on my birthday list. The scent is described as…

‘The unique delicate rose scent is captured in a bespoke glass bottle with Elizabeth I’s signature and the recipe on the front and comes with a purple velvet pouch. 50ml.’

Please note that the perfume bottle now has a plain, brushed silver round top and not as shown in the picture.

Delivery to UK customers only.
Read More

£25.00 for 50ml
Posted in Tudor cookery

Genuine Tudor recipes that taste good…

Mustard eggs:

1oz/25g butter

1 Tsp/5ml butter

1tsp/5ml mustard

1tsp/5ml vinegar

a pinch of salt and pepper


Continue reading “Genuine Tudor recipes that taste good…”

Posted in Free app, Free printables, Homework and school projects, Places to visit

Free printable s and app!


Tudor free stuff: Great for half term!  And Tudor Web chat contact for schools from the Mary Rose museum: Enjoy!!!

Free App ‘Mary Rose :

Build the Mary Rose, Henry the VIII’s favorate ship: buildaship-bw


Printable: Build Henry VIII with instructions: MYOHenryV


Build a sundial: sundial (1) Printable:

pocket-sundial                                                                                       Make Hatch: the dog who lived on the Mary Rose: hatch

Free puzzle sheets:

The-Master-Gunner (1)

The-Cook (1)


Printable: Make a Mary Rose flagon: colour-maryroseflagon


Make a cannon:  colour-iron-gun-pt2colour-iron-gun-pt1


The gift shop link:

Teacher Alert!!!!! Global Web Chat for schools!!

For a small fee teachers can book a web chat session for their school from the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth England. The Mary Rose website says:

‘Talk to our experts via live video link. Find out more about life on board the ship or how our scientists have conserved her for future generations’

Teachers say,“It was a wonderful way for the children to become more engaged with history and each class left enthusing about how interesting it had been. I will whole-heartedly recommend the service to friends and colleagues.”

“Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to you and your team!!!  Exwick Heights really enjoyed their web session and hope to do it again in the future!”

Web chat £25 + VAT

Contact us    02392 871119

Visitors’ guides are available in different languages, and we also provide children’s guides in Bengali, Chinese, Polish, French, German,Italian and Spanish.