UK study tours are at their most effective when they can bring an element of studies alive for students in a way they have not previously seen. At Mary Arden’s Farm, in Stratford, your pupils can see how ordinary people lived and farmed in rural Tudor England in an experience that will capture their imaginations forever. |
Not Quite Mary Arden’s Farm
Bizarrely, the traditional Tudor farm that students get to visit, with its authentic decoration and artefacts, isn’t actually Shakespeare’s mother’s farm - it is a building known as Palmer’s Farmhouse. Mary Arden (Shakespeare’s mother) actually lived in a house nearby, which is also owned by the Shakespeare Birth Trust.
Local legend had it that Palmer’sFarmhouse had been the home of the Bard’s mother, so it was restored to its Elizabethan condition to enable visitors to see how Mary Arden would have lived. It was only in 2000 that a historian, investigating further, proved that Mary Arden’s farm was actually the nearby property. As both properties are owned by the Trust, together they give a good impression of a small Tudor community – although inside Mary Arden’s real farmhouse has not been so fully restored.
However, none of the historical confusion takes away from the invaluable insight provided for pupils as they experience how Tudor farmers and their families would have lived and worked.
Spend the Day in Tudor England
What makes the farm such a wonderful part of an itinerary forUK study tours is the fully immersive nature of the living, working museum. From the moment your students arrive they’ll encounter costumed guides who offer commentary about what they are doing as they go about the tasks that were commonplace in rural Elizabethan England.
From goose herding and looking after the rare breed animals, to cooking and sitting down to eat, your class will be able to put themselves at the heart of the action in a working Tudor farm.
Other highlights of the daily schedule that your group can enjoy include falconry displays, traditional arts and craft activities and archery sessions (in which your pupils can try their hand at firing an arrow).
Meet Some Authentic Tudor Breeds
Many of the animals on the farm are rare breeds that would have been common in Mary Arden’s day, and your students will get the chance to encounter them. From horses and donkeys to English Longhorn cows, Cotswold sheep and Mangalitza pigs, they’ll be able to find out lots more about these fascinating creatures.
Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the Tudor attractions at Mary Arden’s Farm or in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon. Contact a specialist educational travel operatorwho can help you organiseall the details involved in UK study toursto the area. By letting an expert take care of booking all the exhibitions, site tours and travel, you’ll be free to concentrate on making sure this is an educational trip for your class to remember.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning UK study tours, Iceland geography trips or trekking expeditions to India, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.
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