The story of Saint Nicholas at Avebury Manor

Christmas display

This year many of the rooms at Avebury Manor illustrate the story of St Nicholas from his origins in the 4th Century to his 20th Century image that we recognise today as Father Christmas.

The rooms have been decorated to reflect this story while they are still displayed as they are throughout the year, in different historical periods from Tudor times to the 1930s. As always, you can sit on the chairs, lie on the beds, take photographs, and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

The rooms reflect the way in which Christmas traditions and stories of Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Clause spread from Europe to North America, and then back again.
1930s fire place
The rooms reflect the way in which Christmas traditions and stories of Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Clause spread from Europe to North America, and then back again.

From the celebration of gift-giving in the Tudor Parlour, to exploring Father Christmas’s image in advertising throughout the Keiller Parlour, the rooms reflect how stories and traditions have been woven around the legend of Saint Nicholas. But don’t worry; none of his secrets are given away!

This year our volunteers have surpassed themselves, spending around 3,000 hours creating the decorations for the manor
Christmas decorations
This year our volunteers have surpassed themselves, spending around 3,000 hours creating the decorations for the manor

The hand-made decorations this year range from beautiful paper peacock feathers, to Father Christmas’ underpants on the washing line! A dedicated team of Christmas volunteers have given over 3,000 hours of their time to help bring the story of St. Nicholas to life.

The 4 Christmas trees in the manor display hundreds of handmade decorations, while our illuminated paper Christmas village has 40 intricately cut paper buildings, all created by volunteers.

Exploring Christmas past, our volunteers have also lent personal gifts that they had received during their childhood. Featuring in the pop-up exhibition ‘What Santa left in my stocking’ treasured presents range in dates from heirloom pieces right through to the 1990s.

Three rooms are especially dedicated to children of all ages: The North Pole Sorting Office, Father Christmas’s Office and Workshop
Christmas decorations
Three rooms are especially dedicated to children of all ages: The North Pole Sorting Office, Father Christmas’s Office and Workshop