Presentation on theme: "Aston Hall and the Tudors Line drawings by Brian Byron Aston Hall was built just after Elizabeth I died. But it is like a house for a rich Tudor nobleman."— Presentation transcript:
Aston Hall and the Tudors Line drawings by Brian Byron Aston Hall was built just after Elizabeth I died. But it is like a house for a rich Tudor nobleman.
The Holte family were big landowners. Sir Thomas’ grandfather added monastery land to his estate after Henry VIII did away with them. Sir Thomas Holte was the rich man who had Aston Hall built.
The main door opened into a magnificent Entrance Hall Grand visitors could admire the lovely plaster mouldings on the ceiling and the carvings on the oak panelling. Sir Thomas Holte’s 40 servants ate in this room at trestle tables and enjoyed celebrating Christmas and other festivals here.
Sir Thomas, his wife and his 16 children ate in the Great Parlour when they did not have visitors. The tables in the Great Parlour are placed in a T shape (top table and lower table) as Sir Thomas would have had them. Rush matting covers the floor. Rushes were picked from near three big pools not far away. Aston Hall stood in countryside 400 years ago. The rushes were dried and plaited to make matting.
These two boys in the picture on the wall could be sons of Sir Thomas. We know they are rich little boys because of the lovely embroidered (patterns sewn on) collars on their jackets. The embroidery on the collars is called blackwork. Rich ladies had to learn to sew beautifully from when they were very young. The cushion is a copy showing some of the patterns sewn. It is called blackwork.
The Great Stairs is wide and beautifully carved. People thought that perhaps the beasts from their myths and legends could be found in far off lands. Grand visitors were swept up the stairs to the first floor. Lion’s heads and monsters like Leviathan (monster of the deep) are amongst the carvings. The Tudors were very interested in monsters. Voyagers and adventurers were travelling to far off lands and telling stories of strange creatures they had seen.
fire would draw up through the fire lighting the twigs and logs or coal. This was then scraped out into the straw at the base of the fire. This straw caught alight and the The house was heated by log or coal fires. There are some lovely carved stone fireplaces from 400 years ago in the best rooms at Aston Hall. Fires were usually laid with straw then twigs and finally logs(and later coal) on top. Sandstone has been used and, in the best rooms, some marble too. A tinderbox was used to light the fire. The steel struck against the flint to create sparks which dropped on the straw tinder.
Tallow candles were burnt to give light on ordinary days Tallow is a mixture of mutton fat (from sheep) and beef fat. The wick (string) was dipped in melted tallow about 20 times(the tallow was allowed to dry between each dip). Tallow candles hissed and spat more than the best beeswax candles. And they were very smelly!
Bees make wax honeycombs to store their honey. The honeycombs were flattened and wrapped around wicks(strings) to make candles. The best candles were made from beeswax. Brass candle holders hang from the ceiling in the best rooms at Aston Hall. Candle sticks like this pricket one were placed along tables to make it easier to see what was on your plate.
Grand visitors were feasted in the Great Chamber Large carved stone overmantels were fashionable around fireplaces. Plaster mouldings of the heads of ancient Roman gods decorate the ceiling. Statues of Nine Worthies (heroes like Julius Caesar, King Arthur and Alexander the Great) decorate the tops of the walls. This special room was on the south side of the house and the windows looked out on to lovely gardens. The feast included game meats like this haunch of venison (deer meat).
A ‘withdrawing room’ or sitting room The sandstone and marble fireplace is from Sir Thomas’ time. A chimney board – there were usually two of these to pull in front of the fireplace in the summertime. The Tudors loved things meaning something – symbolism. The sun symbolises the life force – nothing will grow without the sun. There are some amazing patterns on this ceiling including a sun. Sir Thomas brought his guests to this room for sweetmeats, or the ‘banquet’ after the main part of the meal. The plaster mouldings on the ceiling are 400 years old.
The best lodging chamber(best bedroom) was next to the Great Chamber. One room just led into the other. This bedroom has changed a great deal since the house was first built. But the plaster mouldings on the ceiling and on the frieze on the tops of the walls are from 400 years ago. The animals all had meaning or symbolism. A rich Tudor visitor would have slept propped up in a four-poster or tester bed(tester means the roof part). Tudor men and women wore long white nighties and a night cap. It was thought unhealthy to go to bed with your head uncovered. The camel symbolised humbleness – kneeling under its burden. The wyvern symbolised war and pestilence! A bowl was used for washing and a pot for a toilet.
It was very fashionable to have a Long Gallery to exercise in when it was raining by walking up and down (promenading). The Long Gallery is one of the state rooms where guests were taken. It is fine plaster mouldings on the ceiling, beautiful, carved panelling, tapestries and a magnificent stone and marble fireplace. Guests may have been entertained in the Great Chamber or in this Long Gallery. Musicians could have played and the guests may have danced. Travelling players were sometimes called in. They may have performed perhaps some plays by Shakespeare. Sir Thomas Holte’s coat of arms is above the fireplace with his symbol - the squirrel.
Dick’s Garret where the servants slept. Ten to fifteen servants slept on straw mattresses in this attic room. The more important servants had smaller rooms and maybe truckle beds to put their mattresses on. Large Tudor houses would have a whipping post in the back yard. If a servant misbehaved they were tied to this post and beaten. Sir Thomas Holte had 40 servants. The most important was the steward and the lowliest was the turn spit who turned the meat in front of the roaring fire in the kitchen. It is said that two ghosts from 400 years ago appear sometimes. The ghost of Sir Thomas’ daughter and the ghost of Dick the kitchen scullion.
The kitchen has changed since Sir Thomas Holte’s day but some things are the same as Tudor times. Meat chopping block The stone sink – the water came from a well The meat safe Leather jugs – black jacks Herbs used for flavouring and medicine
Eggs from hens scratching around the back door The cook, scullions and kitchen maids prepared food at a round table A coffin or pieFish caught in the River Tame A ham from one of Sir Thomas’ farms Vegetables from Sir Thomas’ garden Gingerbread men Bread was baked in the bakehouse