Year 4 Visit Astley Hall – 21st November 2018
Today, we visited Astley Hall as part of our learning about the Great Plague. We met Sir Thomas Charnock and Miss Juliette (The Charnock’s maid). We explored the house and their gardens.
In the house, we met a plague doctor (aka Amelia) who checked underneath everybody’s armpits to make sure that they weren’t bringing the spotted fever into Astley Hall. Then we split in to two groups.
Some of us went upstairs and we saw the bedchambers of Sir Thomas (including the truckle bed where Maid Juliette would sleep). We also saw and smelt different spices in pomanders and we even smelt a chamberpot – which was surprisingly fresh. Then, we went into another bedchamber of someone who had been recently ill. We saw the evidence of a red and white bandage (left behind by a barber-surgeon). Some of the gory delights which we saw, included: huge knives, a bloodletter, a bullet extractor, teeth pliers, a syringe for getting rid of constipation, a tool for cauterising buboes. We learned that physicians would test someone’s toilet business to try to work out what was wrong with them. (Yuck!)
Afterwards, we went in to the still room where the walls are made from wattle and daub. Sir Thomas gave us a recipe for some posy bags and so we went in to the gardens to pick some herbs for the bags. In the garden, we spotted herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaves, chamomile and we also saw lemons, apples, broccoli, sprouts and other things growing.
Finally, we used pestle and mortars to grind our herbs with rose petals and some spices. We poured the contents into muslin and then wrapped them tightly to make a posy bag.
Written by Jess M, Steph F, Harry M and Josh L