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Enjoy a Victorian Christmas at Kentwell Hall

PUBLISHED: 11:52 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 26 November 2019

Kentwell Hall's Dickensian Christmas captures the flavour of the Victorian's favourite time of year Photo: Gavin Mills

Kentwell Hall's Dickensian Christmas captures the flavour of the Victorian's favourite time of year Photo: Gavin Mills

Archant

The Victorians loved Christmas. It was a marriage made in heaven and this love continues to this day. If you want a heartwarming Christmas scene then you will immediately summon up a Victorian snow scene complete with rosy-cheeked urchins, red-coated soldiers escorting demure young ladies past old-fashioned sweet shops, passing hale and hearty older men in top hats.

Meet the villagers and discover how 'the other half' lived at Kentwell Hall's Dickensian Christmas experience Photo:  Gavin MillsMeet the villagers and discover how 'the other half' lived at Kentwell Hall's Dickensian Christmas experience Photo: Gavin Mills

It helped, of course, that Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert loved Christmas, and it was Albert who introduced the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree in our homes.

Charles Dickens did more than anyone to popularise Christmas as a Victorian festival and his novel A Christmas Carol has been a rich source of inspiration, being endlessly adapted into films, stage shows, TV specials, musicals and now an immersive experience at Kentwell Hall.

Kentwell's Dickensian Christmas is a wonderful day out for the whole family, with a huge amount to see and do.

Attractions include: a visit to a Victorian Household. It is 1869 in Kentwell's lovely moated Hall - meet the Victorian family and their staff; children can visit Father Christmas or St Nicholas and then everyone can join Mr Dickens as he reads an abridged version of his 'A Christmas Carol', complete with Victorian special effects.

Father Christmas has taken up residence at Kentwell Hall as part of their Dickensian Christmas experience. Photo: Paul SillenceFather Christmas has taken up residence at Kentwell Hall as part of their Dickensian Christmas experience. Photo: Paul Sillence

You can also visit the Victorian Tavern and play traditional table games while you refresh your thirst, enjoy a music hall & magic show, make a Christmas decoration, mingle with the Victorian villagers and find out how the 'other half' lived.

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Visitors will see how the House is set up for Christmas in Victorian style, with traditional decorations. Meet the Victorian family as it portrays life at a great country house in the year 1869. Experience the Upstairs/Downstairs life.

In 1869, visitors will meet Captain and Mrs Bence who lived at the Hall with their children. The 'family' and their guests will be enjoying the festive season. See the huge tree in the Great Hall, decorated in Victorian-style and join in with traditional games and activities there.

Mrs Bence, the mistress of Kentwell Hall, in 1869 for Kentwell's Dickensian Christmas experience Photo: Gavin MillsMrs Bence, the mistress of Kentwell Hall, in 1869 for Kentwell's Dickensian Christmas experience Photo: Gavin Mills

The Bence family was very typical of an upper class family in having about twice as many staff to look after the family as there were in the family. Superior servants were the Butler, Housekeeper and Cook, each with lesser staff below each of them.

Visitors will hear that the Housekeeper is looking to engage some new staff members - girls to be housemaids and boys to be hall boys.

Music Hall became the entertainment that defined the Victorian era. In Kentwell's little Overcroft theatre, Captain Bence has invited local amateur performers to create Music Hall performances for his friends, staff and villagers. The show will include popular music hall songs, interspersed with readings and recitations and 'The Great Edmundo' will amaze children with his conjuring.

The Tudor Stables becomes a magical Christmas Courtyard, with a large, lit Christmas Tree as the focal point. This is the romantic location for the Carols by Lanternlight, at the end of the day, as well as home to other activities during the daytime.

Craft workshops are part of the fun at Kentwell Hall's Christmas experience Photo: Paul SillenceCraft workshops are part of the fun at Kentwell Hall's Christmas experience Photo: Paul Sillence

Enter the event during a chosen time band and thereafter spend the rest of your day in Victorian England. Kentwell's Stableyard Tearoom will be open all day, serving refreshments throughout the day. Lunches will also be available.

Kentwell Hall's Dickensian Christmas is open on December 7-8 and 14-15. Prices from £33.50 for adults, £27.30 (child 12-15), £22 (child 4-11), £10.25 (under 4). Cheaper prices for afternoon entry. Tickets bookable online at http://tickets.kentwell.co.uk

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