Take a look at medieval Christmas traditions
Our Events Manager, Laura Blackwell, loves researching life in medieval England and at Christmas time this is no exception. Her discoveries as to what traditions were celebrated at this festive time provide the basis for visitors to take a trip back in time to the late 1300s when they visit our castle at Christmas.
Laura says that most of her research about Christmas in medieval England seems to have lead her back to food, in particular Wassail cup and mince pie which we serve during our Christmas festivities at Bodiam Castle.
Wassail cup and mince pie
Wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. It was served from huge bowls, often made of silver or pewter. Wassailing was traditionally done on New Year's Eve and Twelfth Night, but some rich people drank Wassail on all of the 12 days of Christmas. Wassail was sometimes called 'Lamb's Wool' because the pulp from the roasted apples looked all frothy and a bit like Lamb's wool.
In medieval England a large mince pie, filled with shredded meat, spices and fruit, was baked at Christmas time. Generally the meat was in poor condition, even rancid, and so the spices and fruit were needed to make it edible. Today's mince pies are the result of a later change when the meat was omitted from the recipe.