Going the whole hog: from fashion to food, Hampton Court trip really brings History to life

All of Year 8 visited Hampton Court Palace to find out about Henry VIII and later monarchs and to see for themselves how people lived in the time of the Tudors and Stuarts.

Many aspects of History were covered, including the role of kings and queens in England during the period, the lifestyle of people at different levels in English Early Modern society and the architectural history of the palace itself.

Pupils also had the chance to examine more unusual aspects, such as the culinary history of Hampton Court. They found out about the elaborate dining rules, the cooking methods and about people’s dietary likes and dislikes in the period. The boys learned that chicken was, alongside venison, the most expensive meat and that a 13-year-old living in the Tudor Court would have consumed, on average, one litre of ale a day.

Year 8 Raphael Herberg said: “It was really interesting to see the Tudor kltchens, especially how they used to use huge fires to cook whole animals.”

""History teacher Matt Dunston said the trip was arranged to complement the Year 8s’ study of Tudor England with particular attention to the Reformation. “The visit to the Chapel Royal was especially relevant to this, since it is a unique, physical example reflecting the mixture of religious policies enacted during the period.

“The boys also had the chance to look at a number of famous and important paintings, using their powers of deduction to learn about fashion and how the monarchy wished to portray itself.

“They really enjoyed the experience and learnt a great deal.”

Pupil Swattik Das agreed that his knowledge of the Tudors had been greatly enhanced by the trip, adding: “It was amazing to see the actual places in which the people we have been learning about lived their lives.”