Family fun this summer at Mompesson House

Family walking under pergola in Mompesson's garden

We have activities for all the family at Mompesson House this summer. They have been inspired by our 2019 exhibition which tells the story of Victorian resident Jinny Townsend.

Toys and games 

Jinny Townsend was born in 1844 and lived at Mompesson with her parents, brother and two sisters. She wrote a diary nearly every day. From her diaries we know the Townsends enjoyed playing croquet on the lawn so this summer sees the return of our favourite foam croquet set. 

Croquet on the lawn, 1860
Black and white image of the Townsend family playing croquet on the lawn in 1860
Croquet on the lawn, 1860

Her diaries also reveal that Jinny enjoyed playing a game called battledore and shuttlecock. This was an early game similar to that of modern badminton with two people hitting a shuttlecock backwards and forwards with a simple bat (called a battledore) as many times as they could without allowing it to fall to the ground. Have a go with our modern badminton rackets - how long can you keep the shuttlecock in the air?

Both activities are suitable for children aged 3-11 years, although older children and adults can have a go too. They will be available on the lawn every day, except for very wet days. Please phone 01722 335659 to check whether we'll be putting these games out. 

Family trail 

In the house there's a family trail to accompany the exhibition, aimed at children aged 5-11 years. Find the Jinny-related objects and have a go at some of the activities Jinny Townsend enjoyed doing when she lived at Mompesson House including designing your own crest. We suggest it takes 30-45 minutes to complete but you can do half of the activities in the garden or tea-room when you've finished exploring the house. 

You can pick up the family trail from the reception desk in the entrance hall. It will be available every day until Sunday 3 November from 11am to 4.30pm. Normal admission applies.

We're family friendly 

  • Free entry for under 5s
  • Baby changing facilities in accessible toilet
  • Front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats for loan
  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers admitted
  • Highchair available in garden tea-room
  • Children's sandwiches available in garden tea-room