Historic Life Weekend: Bread & Butter

Saturday 13 April to Sunday 14 April 2019
10.30am - 5.30pm

Bread and butter are staple foods that we almost take for granted. Yet there is much more to both than meets the eye. What were the methods used and finished bread like at different times in the past? And what might be used if wheat or other crops were poor in a particular year? How likely were you at various times to have unscrupulous producers bulking out bread with other products? When in the year was butter made and available?

Enjoy tasters and see demonstrations across the range of buildings at the Museum, including in Winkhurst Tudor kitchen and at the new bakehouse opening in 2019.

Programme for Saturday 13 April

Programme for Sunday 14 April

Bread is the symbol of shared food, the very essence of life.  – Bernard Dupaigne – The History of Bread

In the early 16th century the use of butter instead of lard as a spread on bread was still considered to be a Continental habit…  – Cooking & Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England – Peter Brears

We need four things to survive life: bread, water, oxygen, and dreams! ― Avijeet Das

Our senses inform us of the colour, weight, and consistence of bread; but neither sense nor reason can ever inform us of those qualities which fit it for the nourishment and support of a human body. ― David Hume


For 2019 we have a new series of Historic Life weekends focusing on different historical angles of the Museum’s collection. There will be a chance to chat to experts, see demonstrations and displays as well as explore the Museum. These are ideal for people specifically interested in the subject areas, as well as those generally interested and looking for an enjoyable, relaxing day out with a difference. A full programme for each weekend will be published online about a week ahead and the programmes are subject to change.

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The Museum’s historic buildings are fascinating places to explore, plus you can learn how food was prepared in the Tudor kitchen and how flour is milled in the watermill – where you can buy grain and feed the hungry ducks on the mill pond. Also enjoy the fresh air and see the heavy horses and the other traditional breed farm animals including oxen, chickens and geese. There are lovely woodland walks and children can explore our woodland play area and family activity barn.

Our waterside café will be open (serving 9am-3pm), plus there are indoor and outdoor picnic areas. Dogs on leads are welcome and there is ample free parking. Please note that the Museum is a no-smoking site. Visitors with access needs are advised to read our accessibility page in advance of their visit.

All activities are subject to change.