Experience a Victorian Christmas

In many ways the Victorians invented Christmas. The launch of Tom Smith's 'Bangs of Expectation' in 1860 ignited our love of Christmas crackers. We also have the Victorians to thank for the traditions of decorating Christmas trees and giving gifts on Christmas Day, as well as Father Christmas as we know him today. You can step into a Victorian Christmas at many of the places we look after – here’s a taste of what’s on.

The historic kitchens at Petworth House dressed for Christmas

Petworth House and Park - A Christmas Confection 

28 November 2015 to 3 January 2016

Little changed from Victorian times, you’ll find the servants’ quarters at Petworth House and Park in West Sussex beautifully dressed for the season and costumed servants preparing Victorian festive fare for you to try. You can also find out what life was life ‘below stairs’ for the servants at this time of year.

A child looks up the Great Hall chimney at Speke Hall

Speke Hall - Victorian Christmas Weekends 

28-29 November and 5-6 & 12-13 December 2015

See Speke Hall in Liverpool – a Tudor house with a Victorian personality – decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas. You’ll be able to enjoy lots of family activities, listen to Christmas carols being sung in the Great Hall and pay a call on Father Christmas.

The dining room at Standen dressed for Christmas

Standen House and Garden - A family Christmas through the ages 

28 November 2015 to 3 January 2016

See the house decorated in the style of several decades, from Victorian times to the present day, showcasing the many Christmases celebrated at Standen House and Garden in West Sussex, designed by the Arts and Crafts architect Philip Webb for the Beale family in 1894.

Traditional Christmas pomander

Tredegar House – Christmas weekends 

28-29 November and 5-6, 12-13 & 19-20 December 2015

Experience Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Tredegar House in Monmouthshire. Beware Scrooge might be lurking around the corner, but you can cheer him up with a festive sing-song. You can also join in with traditional crafts, games and activities including pomander making.

Tyntesfield Christmas

Tyntesfield - A Very Victorian Christmas 

28 November 2015 to 3 January 2016 (except for Christmas Day)

Immerse yourself in a Victorian Christmas at Tyntesfield in North Somerset and experience life for the family and their servants as they prepare for the festive period. Peek in their private lives and see the contrasts in their days. You can also help the servants decorate and prepare the house.

The Workhouse in the snow

The Workhouse, Southwell - A Victorian Workhouse Christmas  

4-5 December 2015

Join the staff and paupers as they prepare to celebrate Christmas in the Workhouse in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. Sing carols with the pauper choir and listen to stories of workhouse life. Please note this event is the Workhouse’s only opening this Christmas.

Celebrating a medieval Christmas at Chirk Castle

Christmas through the ages

You can also experience Christmas during different eras at places we look after. Find out how people celebrated Yuletide in medieval times or during the Tudor period, step into an Edwardian or Georgian Christmas or take a trip back to the festivities of the Roaring Twenties.