Step Back in Time

Year 5 enjoyed a trip to Smithills Hall, where they found out about life inside a Victorian home. We dressed up, carried out role-play and had an interesting tour around the old historic building.

The class trip helped kick-start our new history topic on the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian period.

A few children were asked to review the trip.

Is it a worthwhile place to visit for pupils and teachers?

6 thoughts on “Step Back in Time

  1. Yesterday, my Year 5 class had the very great pleasure of going to the historic Smithlls Hall in Bolton to learn about the famous Victorians despite the fact that the oldest room is 780 years old (the medieval times, about 630 years before the Victorians). It was fun as we got to dress up as real-life servants for Richard Henry Ainsworth and his wife, Isabella Margaret Ainsworth. Smithlls Hall is very close to the Valley Community School. It is very intriguing and exciting for anyone into history ; I would recommend it to anyone in KS2.

    My favourite part was possibly looking at the artefacts because it was like being detectives as we tried to figure out what they were and why they were used. We learnt that Victorians had great pride for their doorsteps and used a stone in the shape of a cuboid, that they dipped their pens into ink so they could write and-to our great disappointment gelatin is made from bones because people don’t want the bones of animals to be wasted. As well as that, Alex (our tour guide who was humorous and knowledgeable at the same time) explained that children who were naughty got hit with a cane(which is a long, wooden stick) and that when you got your questions wrong, you had to wear a dunce’s cap with a D on it (which is basically used to laugh at you because you’re dumb). But it really surprised me that the government of the time didn’t create these punishments, the individual schools did!
    My least favourite part was when we heard the ghost stories because although I wanted to believe there was a scientific explanation to them, they were just extraordinary things with no scientific explanation. Possibly the craziest one was in the chapel, where the story says that a person called the Grey Lady was very shy and whenever someone got near her she disappeared! This sceptical tale raised many questions inside my head. However, I think these myths are excellent for those who like mysteries with no answers.
    ***** (5 stars of 5)

  2. On Tuesday 22nd March, Year 5y went on a fascinating trip to Smithills Hall to learn all about the historical Victorian era. Although the medieval building was only ten minutes away from our school, everyone had a spectacular time dressing up in clothes as real-life people from the past. The girls dressed up in aprons and mop caps and the boys dressed up in waistcoats, scarfs and flat-caps. We also visited some of the owner’s rooms and took part in some fun drama and role-play activities that helped you to imagine exactly how you would have lived as Victorian servants. My favourite room was Mrs Isabella Ainsworth’s room because of all the beautiful ornaments, which were made of china. Colonel Henry Richard Ainsworth’s room was also interesting because he had a grand organ and lots of stunning stuffed birds.

    In the afternoon, we had a grand tour of the building and we listened to some spooky ghost stories in the old housekeeper’s room; the housekeeper’s name was Mrs Stringer. We were told by our friendly, knowledgeable guide (whose name was Alex) that most of the servants were very afraid of Mrs Stringer because she was very strict. After that we visited the chapel which had beautiful stain glass windows and wooden angels on the ceiling which had been there since Tudor times. Once there was a dreadful fire in the chapel which destroyed most of the chapel except the angels on the ceiling. In the chapel we were told another story about a lady who came to church and she was so shy that she vanished! Next we looked at some intriguing artefacts from the past and were asked to guess what they were and what they were made of. I saw an old fashioned jelly mould that was made of copper and a collar which was made of Egyptian cotton.
    In my view this was a fun, educational trip that everyone enjoyed and I would rate it five out of five out of five. I would definitely recommend it to any KS2 class who are entering a topic about the Victorians.
    My star rating : *****

  3. On the 22nd of March ( yesterday ) my Y5 class went on an intriguing trip to Smithills Hall, which is 10 minutes away from our school, for an entry to our new topic based on the Victorians. In my opinion, learning about the Victorians ( the Victorian era ) is fantastic and when we went on this trip I learnt everything I should know to begin the topic since at the beginning of this topic I didn’t know much. Honestly, I loved the drama because I love to play different characters but it also boosted my confidence. My favourite part was also learning about the Ainsworth family especially Richard and Isabella. Since this building is from the medieval times ( roughly 780 years old ),I learned lots of new historic vocab and facts. Personally, I thought that this was an amazing trip and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in history especially if you are 9+.
    In my view, the tour guide deserved a big thank you because he helped us dress up like house-keepers and servants and shared all these amazing facts .Another thing that was one of my favourites was the ghost stories although, if you are quite easily scared by stories like this I wouldn’t recommend this part of the tour to you. Although you . might be a bit frightened of the stories, it doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at the other parts of the tour. If you are a bit frightened, dressing up will fix your mood. All the boys dressed up in flat caps, scarf and a waistcoat whilst the girls dressed in mop caps and an apron. There were six main characters in the role play ( Hashir, Hafsa, Fatima, Khadijah, Uzair and Ibrahim ).Hafsa and Hashir were playing as the Ainsworth couple and Khadijah and Fatima were playing as the cook and the housekeeper. We also had a gardener and a butler who were very well played. To be honest, my stomach started to act up but I was enjoying it so much that I had to carry on. I soon felt normal and had the best time.

    In the afternoon, we split up into two groups. First my group sat in a circle and we handled some Victorian artefacts. At this part, me and Khalisah partnered up to figure out what they were used for. Next, we went all around the historical building and took a quiz. I loved this part.

    If you are the kind of person who is really into historical places. Well, I recommend you stop what you’re doing and come right over to Smithills Hall.Thank you for reading my letter; I hope you took my advice.

    • * * * * * (STAR RATING OUT OF 5 )

  4. Yesterday me and my year 5 class got the chance to go to Smithills Hall to understand the Victorian Revolution and how it has changed in the last 117 years. It was amazing everyone loved it even the teachers. In my opinion, the Victorian era was very interesting; knowing that Smithills Hall was used by people in the olden days, I thought the trip was very fascinating. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in history.
    Personally, I like dressing up unlike some of my friends, however I could tell my friends had a great time. My role was Sara Walkden -who was the head Chef of Smithills Hall- and I really liked my role. There were lots of different roles but my favourite role was Mrs Stringer, my friend (Khadijah.S) was Mrs Stringer. The rest of the class (Girls) wore an apron and a mop cap. The boys wore a waist coat, scarf and a flap cap. During the trip we had an amazing tour guide his name was Alex and he was very knowledgeable.

    In the Afternoon, we were split into two groups, one group was handling artefacts and the other group were doing a quiz about Smithills Hall (in the past). In my point of view, the quiz was the best out of the two activities; me and Amelia partnered up to figure out what everything was used for.
    If you are the kind of person who is really into historical places, I recommend you to stop what you are doing and head over to Smithills Hall; by reading this letter I hope you take my advice. Thank you for reading my letter.

    Rating out of five

  5. Yesterday, Year 5 went to the fabulous, historic building -Smithill’s Hall- where we explored the history of the Victorian era. I believe it’s a superb place to go, not only as a school trip but just a place to go with your parents as they have an outstanding cafe. As well as it’s a fascinating building -built in 117- it is being looked after by pleasant, cheery tour guides who will make your boring history day a life like time trip. We went on this trip as our class fascinating topic is about the Victorians and how people lived. I would recommend this trip to schools; the children will love it.
    My favourite part was when we had the pleasure to dress up as historic children /lords or ladies. The boys dressed up in flat caps, waist coats and a tie. The girls put on aprons and mop hats I believe it was good to dress up not only as it was fun but because the children could actually know how children in the olden days lived. Another part I liked was when we were given artefacts to reveal what they were used for. I found out that the Victorians had an obsession with cleaning their door steps with a cuboid stone. I also found out if you got questions wrong you would have to wear a dunce’s cap as is a way to mock people or to say there’re not clever. What surprises me was most of the schools punishments weren’t made by the government but by the schools themselves.
    My least favourite part of the fabulous trip was when we learnt about the crucial things the Victorians did as punishments; they sent shivers down my spine. Some of the crucial punishments were finger stocking (used when children were fidgeting), using a dunce’s cap to say the children are dumb and a cane to hit naughty children. I will insure that this trip is worthwhile and you will not be disappointed.
    This trip is a trip that will teach you fascinating facts about the amazing past; things that you never know!

  6. Yesterday, my Y5 class went on a trip to Smithills Hall to understand how people lived in the Victorian era. In my opinion, I could see that everyone loved it especially when we sat in the Great Hall which is 780 years old. I would recommend this trip to children and adults who like history and I guarantee 100% it will blow your socks off. The reason why I would recommend this trip is that any ages can go and it is a lot of fun. Wouldn’t you like to dress up as hard working maids wearing frilly mop caps and aprons , or hear ghost stories and even handle some real artifacts from the past?
    When we dressed up as servants we acted out some role play .Some of my class-mates dressed up as main characters. They were: (Hashir) Colonel Ainsworth,(Hafsah) Isabella Ainsworth,(Uzair)the Butler,(Khadijah) Mrs Stringer,(Fatima)the cook and last of all Ibrahim who was the Head Gardener. We learnt a lot about these people and even explored their bedroom ‘s. If you come to Smithills Hall you will learn a lot from the past just like us all thanks to an intelligent man who will give you a tour of everything and make learning about history fun. Who could ever do that?
    Finally ,I would like to tell you that we did some chores just like real people in the Victorian days. I never knew that children were made to go under the factories and go up the chimneys at very young ages. Do you know what dolly tubs, carpet beaters, flat irons, possers and wash boards are? If you do not know go to Smithills Hall and learn all about them. You can even use them!
    I hope you make the right choice and go to Smithills Hall for a fascinating trip with your family , friends or even your school class. Anyone can go.

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