Christmas at the Tudor Merchant’s House
- 09 November 2023
Two of our three floors will be decorated. Visit on Friday 1 December and Saturday 2 December or Friday 8th December and Saturday 9th December from 11 am to 4.00pm (last entry at 3.30pm. Normal admission charge. Booking not required.
Please note: due to its small size we are only able to allow 30 people into the house at any one time.
What is Christmas at the Tudor Merchant’s House?
Two of the three floors will be decorated with natural evergreens similar to how we believe a wealthy Tudor family would have decorated their home. The Christmas table will be made up with the kind of foods eaten at the time and the “Lord of Misrule” will be on hand to give a Tudor toy to every child visiting.
Christmas in Tudor times
Did you know many of our Christmas traditions were started by the Tudors? The Tudors were well known for liking a party, and Henry V111 was infamous for his expensive and lavish tastes.
During the winter, life in Tudor times would have been cold and dark and after a hard year of toil wealthy and working-class families would be ready to celebrate their faith in a family environment.
Although Christmas trees were around in the 16th Century in the Baltic and north Germany, the Tudors would not have had them. Instead they would have decorated their houses with natural evergreens like ivy, holly, laurel and mistletoe and they would have done their decorating on Christmas eve.
Gifts were given on New Year and would have included items like short poems, or an item of clothing in wealthy homes.
Christmas was quite a long festival taking place over 12 days. Everyone taking a break from work would visit friends and the season was seen very much as a community celebration. The 12 days were actually saint days with the most important being the 25th December, and the 1st and 6th January when the biggest feasts were held.The Lord of Misrule supervised the revelry and was charged with managing unruly events like drinking, role reversal and general chaos.
Christmas food and Fasting
This was a time of serious feasting and included meat like swan, goose and turkey as well as venison peacock and of course wild boar.
Other traditions included pantomimes, carol singing and drinking too much and so on the 12 days over Christmas celebrations, at the Tudor Court and possibly in a rich merchant’s house were filled with light, laughter and feasting.
Christmas in Tenby
Settled as early as the 9th century and with well-preserved medieval town walls, Tenby is a very beautiful and iconic seaside town that became popular as a resort during Georgian and Victorian times. Christmas is a lovely time to visit the town for a spot of Christmas shopping whilst exploring some of the ancient narrow streets. Tenby has lovely beaches as well and walking along the shore on a sharp winter’s day is the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy the coast.
Pembrokeshire during Christmas
Pembrokeshire is equally beautiful in Winter as it is in spring and summer. There are many places to discover on a visit at this time of year, from the Stackpole Estate with its award-winning beaches and Grade 1 listed landscape, to exploring the St Davids peninsula in North Pembrokeshire and visiting some of its many little harbours like Solva or Porthclais. If you’re hardy and brave you could even take a dip in the Irish sea or try surfing! Be sure to wrap up warm in a wetsuit if this is new to you.
Discover family days out at Stackpole including beaches, history and 3,000 acres of amazing wildlife to explore.
Colby’s wooded valley is teeming with creatures great and small. Look out for birds, bugs, very rare bats and even the occasional otter.
Discover a colourful combination of coast and countryside in Pembrokeshire with sweeping sands, thriving wetlands and rocky islands for you to explore.
In Tudor times, Tenby was a hub for overseas trade importing a wide variety of stock, including salt, linen and wine from France. Discover more in the busy Tudor Merchant’s shop.
We rely on volunteers to help with the many different areas of the garden we look after, which means there are plenty of interesting roles to consider.
Every 20 years a census is carried out to assess the size of the Manx shearwater colony on islands off the Pembrokeshire coast. The latest survey showed very promising results.