Bring history to life

Two children drawing one of the medieval faces

Ightham Mote's experienced and enthusiastic team are here to help inspire pupils' curiosity about the past. Our history programme is designed to help pupils' understand the complexity of people's lives, and how they changed throughout the ages.

" Ightham Mote is one of those few places in England, which simply sings with time. Within its walls, a single life is only a brief thing, and a whole century is little more than a pause."
- Dr Ian Mortimer, author of the Time Travellers history series

Local History workshops

This full day workshop has different options for you, depending on your programme of study. Our current workshops focus on Ightham Mote during the medieval, Tudor and Victorian periods, as well as another which brings to life the Home Front during the Second World War.


Medieval, Tudor or Victorian studies

The day starts with a guided tour, which focusses on the key chronological phases: medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Victorian and modern era. Pupil's will have the opportunity to trace the passage of time, as each successive owner added their own stamp to Ightham Mote.

Afterwards we have a rotation of workshops which include:

  • learning about the past through a selection of handling objects - using analytical skills to gather clues and infer what they were used for.
  • observing and recording the features of the house, to enable them to identify and describe a range of differences between homes today, and those from the past.
  • using traditional toys and games, to allow them to describe different characteristics - how they work; different materials and whether everyone would have been able to afford them.

The workshop usually runs from 10am - 2.15pm (maximum 60 pupils)


World War II: Home Front

This immersive day is designed to help pupils understand how the war affected people at home, rather than just those sent overseas to fight. They'll identify some of the restrictions people faced, and how they suffered, along with the courage and resilience people needed to survive.

Arriving as evacuees, pupils' are able to recognise the impact of being uprooted from their family and sent away to the country, and how their lives will be different from now on. They'll experience the need for blackout, and what it was like to shelter during an air-raid with the planes flying overhead and dropping bombs.

Afterwards, we have a rotation of hands-on workshops which include:

  • how rationing impacted on everything, making it essential to 'make do and mend', and what life was like without modern appliances (or even electricity). 
  • how people were trained to deal with the aftermath of bombing raids, and how everyone had their own firefighting equipment.

The workshop usually runs from 9.45am - 2.15pm (maximum 30 pupils)



Our workshops run from March - October, and spaces fill up quickly.

Workshops cost £6 per pupil, based on the school having Education Group Membership (EGM). Without an EGM, admission fees apply.

For all enquiries, please email our Learning Assistant Emily or our Learning and Interpretation Officer Hannah.