On Wednesday 26th September 2018, Year 4 visited Tatton Park as part of our Anglo-Saxon topic. We spent the day on an Anglo-Saxon farm and as soon as we arrived, the children were transported back to 609AD. The children learnt how a farmer would have lived, and experienced how challenging it would be to: cook meals for a whole village outside; defend themselves from Viking attacks and how to make useful items out of wood, clay and bone.
The children spent time with a lady called Tate who taught them how to grind wheat into flour using stones, which they then made into bread, and showed them how to flatten the bread so that it cooked evenly on an open fire. She discussed what limited ingredients they had to work with, and explained how they had never heard of sugar, so rarely ate anything sweet! The children learnt what different foods went in to a stew, and were horrified to learn that eating nettles and marrow from animal bones was commonplace!
We were visited by a Viking warrior called Bjornuf, who taught the children how to defend themselves against a Viking attack. The children held shields, daggers, axes and other weapons and worked together in teams to defend themselves, using a variety of different shield formations, such as The Wall and The Turtle. Bjornuf explained that the Anglo-Saxon people used to pay “Danegeld,” to the Vikings, a monthly fee to avoid being invaded, and that the Anglo-Saxons were mostly peace loving people, who didn’t want to fight!
Lastly, the children spent time with Tatters who was the head of the village. He explained to the children that the Anglo-Saxons made bowls and spoons out of wood, cups out of animal horn and clothes and bedding out of wool, fur and leather. We spent time in a traditional Anglo-Saxon home made of sticks, mud and horse manure! Tatters explained how Anglo-Saxons preferred to trade items and barter, rather than actually spend money. Tatters showed the children different jewellery and adornments which the Anglo-Saxons were fond of, such as necklaces, brooches and belt buckles. He stated that these were used to make boring clothing more attractive. The children then made their own amulets using clay, which they decorated using a feather as a scribing tool.
Everyone had a fantastic day, and the experience and knowledge they gained on this school trip will last them a life time!