Merry March

Planting traditional beans and beans

Celebrate spring with us by discovering Tudor herbs and spices and planting traditional peas and beans as a part of a ‘Merry March’ festival from Wednesday 2 March to Sunday 6 March – Mother’s Day.

Come and find out how our Tudor gentlewomen would have used natural additives, such as chervil and winter savoury  to flavour meals when the hall was a family home,  discover more about Tudor gardening, take home your own traditional variety of pea or bean as a Mother’s Day present. You can also make a home-made Mother’s Day card and try your hand at printing Tudor-style, using patterned woodblocks.

Imagine how it was for most Tudors,  winter was often a battle for survival but by March they could look ahead to kinder weather, planting crops and seeing calves and lambs born.  This was such an important time that the Tudor New Year began in March, on Lady Day.  March was a time for optimism in Tudor times and we are capturing some of those high spirits during the Merry March festival.                                                                                                                                             

On the other hand, the month of March was still part of Lent. There were regulations about what you ate and drank and what leisure activities you indulged in. So, another feature of our Merry March festival is ‘Jack o’ Lent’. He is a life size straw man that our younger visitors can bombard with bean-bags. In the past ‘Jack’ provided a chance to work off any frustrations caused by the restrictions of Lent.