Tudor Kentwell from the eyes of a reenactor

What it's like behind the tudor recreations at Kentwell Hall (www.kentwell.co.uk)

Location: United Kingdom

I LOVE social history.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May Day!

I was in the bakhus again, this time with Adam, Sarah, Diccon and Matkin.

We had a few laughs, Sarah poured too much water into the dough mix me and Mat were doing so it was all wet and stodgy - we managed to fix it with adding more flour though!

Sarah was making a menchet dough the following day and I was in charge of adding the milk - yes, I took revenge and added too much!

One of the players was in the bakhus on monday morning because it was raining outside, and the players are usually located outside! He asked Sarah to make his mark in dough - a capital B with the top bit filled in and with a face on it - she did a great job, but the bottom bit filled in when it was being baked and ended up looking like a cat's bum!

We had loads of compliments about how good our bread was - it made me feel good - that's one of the great joys about working in the bakhus!

I saw a couple of the plays in the afternoons which were very funny as usual! I joined in with the dancing on monday which I like very much. After that one of the people from the online Kentwell group spoke to me. She was telling me how I was an enthusiastic newbie who was now picking up a lot of information and becoming very knowledgable. It was very kind of her to say such a thing and it made me happy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Good Friday

Started off the day not knowing much, but soon picked up a few useful bits – how much yeast to put in the alebalm and what Holy manchets are actually for (hanging in your cott to bring luck for a year!)
Unfortunately there isn’t much flour – they ordered the usual amount, but the bags are smaller.


Well, we obviously baked some bread today! What made my day was that I got to sing to the gentry (from the gallery) with Honour, Jennyt, Mary, James, Kitty and Ned. We sang ‘Green Groweth the Holly’ and ‘Love Has Come Again’.
Tissy came round this afternoon and said that we were good and enjoyed us singing and we sang GGTH to her. Margaret the housekeeper said the same about us.
Anyway, we’ll be back there tomorrow performing right in front of the gentry!
We also had some apricots with some icing in and a sultana on the top! They were really yummy – I must try making some!

Easter Sunday

I was known as and called ‘Cross’ Annis today because i put about 99% of all the crosses on the Holy manchets (all Mary’s fault!)
Sang to the gentry which was really good and they liked it! Honour let me use one of her drums for the prosession into the hall and one or two other songs. It was a pity that most of us couldn’t remember all the words to GGTH! Then Honour, Jennyt, Ned and me started singing on the courtyard afterwards and there was a large crowd!
Dot and I took some Holy manchets about the manor to sell for charity, although she did all the talking.
When the woodmen came in the afternoon, they suggested that Mary got her snips on Dot’s shift (to make it lower) and then, i think, Mary (or one of the woodmen) lead it onto me! Apparently I was smiling innocently all the way through!
Tamsin gave me some mini eggs at breakfast, Tissy came round with some and so did Aimee from the stillroom. It was all very well indeed!

Easter Monday

Had lots of yummy food from the kitchen – welsh cakes and something like stuffing which was fashioned and decorated to look like a hedgehog, to name but a few.
We decorated some bread rolls to look like ducklings and I got to take them to high board – they were liked very much!
I didn’t sing to the gentry today, but Ned thanked me for what i did.
I took some bread to the cott (stuff that was made yesterday) which they were greatful for as they were to make some gingerbread and cheesy farts. Pity I didn’t notice the hanging coney with the bloody (as in covered in blood) nose! I got some blood on my hat! But luckily it came off.
I watched the childer’s play which was very good and funny!
Oh yes, I forgot to say that I overheard Mary and Beth (from the dairy) sing my praises in the activities room – I think they think very highly of me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Yes! That is what I have made! I made them the second weekend of December 2006, so they are all ready for the off when the new Kentwell season starts!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Michaelmas - been and gone

Oh how sad am I? The Michaelmas event, the last for the season, has been and gone. I shall have to wait another 7 months for the next event.
But Michaelmas was wonderous! I spent the weekend in the Bakhus (Bakehouse) baking bread for the whole manor.
I felt great satisfaction doing such a thing and knowing that it will feed everyone upon the manor as it is part of their main diet during events.
I had great fun on saturday morning having to light a fire in the hearth with a stillroom maid i know. We must have gone through about 20 matches to get it going!
Not only did we make many common loaves for the peasants, but we also made manchet (white bread) for the gentry. we flavoured some with herbs, fruits of the sun, garlic and we left some plain. All the bread baked was well liked and many compliments were made.
Sunday morning i cried with laughter as a steward came in and jest with us about many things, such as being a Tudor version of Thunderbirds.
He came back later in the day and asked if, on the following day, we could make him some oliphonts (elephants) from our dough, for he had made a promise to juggle them. All i can do is wonder how it went, for i have to spend this monday and tuesday continuing with my studies.
But, alas! i shall return one day!

Friday, September 15, 2006

1 week to go!

Yay! I cant wait. Next weekend is the Michaelmas event!
I am stationed in the bakhus (bakehouse/bakery whichcever you want to call it) which is where I've always wanted to be from the start! ooooh! im so very looking forward to it, it will be great!

The picture to the left is of Pug and myself sitting at the Military Pavilion at the main event.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Some photos

Monday, July 10, 2006

Post-Main Event

oh, where to start! I did all the weekends of the main event and wish to write about it, but i just can't remember all that happened!
It was great and i enjoyed every moment. I was in the dairy again and so was making yet more cheese and butter, the last weekend (preparations for the Queen's visit) saw that the cheese was shaped into an 'E', a crown and a Tudor rose!
I tried my hand at archery, which i have not done since i was about 11, and fired my arrows quite but did not hit the targets but the pole the popinjay hangs from.
I taught myself how to spin and a friend from the woolshed helped me make my very own spindle!
The last day was spent as mistress of the dairy, which I found to be odd as a maid who was twice my age kept asking me what I wished her to do!
I managed to take a few pictures, mainly stills of various parts of the manor, once they have been developed and scanned into the computer i shall post a few!

Oh how i wish i was still there,
Annis x