May, and particularly May Day, are associated with a variety of customs, plants and garlands, plant-lore and superstitions. During this weekend we will explore these in relation to the historic gardens, traditional songs and dance, and customs that may have been associated with the eras or our historic houses at the Museum. The maypole again will stand in the market square. There will also be the opportunity to make a simple willow headdress with floral decoration.
A time to celebrate the resurrection of nature after the winter months. The Historic Gardens will have an abundance of herbs and flowers traditionally associated with May Day. We will be gathering herbs such as Hawthorn (May bush), Meadowsweet (Meadow Queen), Periwinkle (Sorcerer’s Violet) and Sweet Woodruff (May bowl) to make garlands and also focus on herbal folklore and traditions.
A full programme will be published online ahead of the weekend.
Tickets will be available to book approx. 5-6 weeks prior to this event.
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How We Are Keeping You Safe
We have been working hard to put extra safety measures in place to ensure we are COVID-19 secure and have implemented several new precautions, following government advice, so that we can provide a safe and enjoyable visit for everyone. Please see our full FAQs and guidelines.
Information for Visitors
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 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 10.30am–4pm), 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.
Historic Life Weekends
For 2021 we have new topics in our popular series of Historic Life weekends. 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 in a topic and looking for an enjoyable, relaxing day out with a difference.