On Wednesday 7th and Thursday the 8th of October Year 5 visited Powderham Castle in Exeter. We needed to be at school by 7.15am so I got out of bed struggling to open my eyes, ate my breakfast and then got dressed. When we arrived at school we had registration. When we were all present we made our way to the coach. We were off! The journey was very long and boring but thankfully Mrs Hathway made templates for us to use to make little wool bracelets.
As we arrived we drove down the long, elegant drive way. The teachers pointed the deer out to us which surrounded the castle. As we departed the coach, we were greeted by the housekeeper, Mrs Croon. We were Victorian servants for the day so we weren’t important enough to use the front entrance so we had to walk down some steps to the servants hall. When we reached the hall we were split into 2 groups. The cooking group had to wear white aprons and the cleaning group had to wear blue aprons.
When wearing a blue apron we were instructed to start work. We worked in groups of 5 and took turns at completing each chore. We had to dust, beat the carpets, make paper twists for the fire, polish the gentry’s boots, practice our ironing skills on tea towels and scrub the floors. It was really hard work!
In-between the activities we had lunch. This was our favourite part because we visited the petting farm. We spent 15 minutes petting all the animals. There was a donkey, chickens, geese, pigs and a really slow tortoise that we were told not to step on. After lunch we returned to the servants hall where we resumed our roles.
When wearing a white apron we were taken to the kitchen. The cook explained to us all about the Victorian era and how it was very different to the present day. She told us how life was for herself and 2 maids. After we learnt all about her life at the castle, we began to make griddle cakes for Lord and Lady Devon. We enjoyed making the cakes with the old weights and tools. When we finished we cleaned the kitchen using the old brooms and scrubbing brushes. Our teachers cooked our griddle cakes while we cleaned. When we were all finished the cook let us eat some of the cakes. They were yummy!
After all our hard work, a footman came to collect us and took us on a tour of the castle. It was really fun finding all the secret doors. These were the doors we would have to use in the Victorian era because the Lord and Lady wouldn’t have wanted to see the servants. We learned all about the history of the house and saw a unicorn horn! At the end of our tour it was time to return home. We were all ready to go to sleep. We would love to visit Powderham Castle again!