Event - Year 2 Explore Aston Hall

12 December 2019

For our Topic Finale, Year 2 visited the 17th Century Aston Hall. In this interactive session, the children learnt about how people lived during the time of the Great Fire of London and how the fire had started. They looked at the bread ovens in the kitchen and discovered why the flames spread so quickly. Also, the children learnt about the different ways that were used to put out the fire. Some were not very successful. The children dressed up as key figures from the time, including: Thomas Farriner and his maid, Samuel Pepys and his maid Jane, and King Charles II. They explored a bed chamber like the one Samuel Pepys had slept in.

The children began by learning about the Holte family who used to live in Aston Hall. Sir Thomas Holte had a large family and lived there for many years. King Charles I once stayed at Aston Hall.

Thomas Farriner worked in the bakery and he had to work very hard to bake the bread. The children saw how the fire was lit in the bread oven using a steel and flint.

Thomas Farriner’s maid worked hard to keep the bakery clean.

Samuel Pepys wrote a diary about the fire and he read it to us. Without his diary recount we would not know what happened during this worrying time.

Samuel Pepys’ maid, Jane, was always helping him. Today she brought him some wine and expensive, Italian parmesan cheese.

The children saw how the fire spread so quickly. A hot summer, strong winds and wooden houses, which were packed tightly together in the narrow streets, allowed the fire to spread at pace.

Fire hooks were used to pull the houses down. The fire hook was very heavy and was made of wood and metal.

The children heard how the people of London used leather buckets and water squirts to put the fire out.

Thankfully, King Charles II arrived with his army and used explosives from the Tower of London to knock down the houses. This stopped the flames from leaping from house to house. Finally the fire was under control.

King Charles II ordered the new houses to be rebuilt using brick and stone.

Afrwards, we used Tudor house templates and brightly coloured tissue paper to make our own Great Fire of London scene.

We had to take it to the hall as the classroom was not big enough to dipslay it. It took twelve children to hold it up.