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!!”