Elizabeth I and Tudor characters visit Wymondham

It is 1573 and Queen Elizabeth I is visiting Wymondham Abbey.

Well that was the illusion history teachers at Wymondham High School were trying to achieve thanks to a group of professional re-enactors who taught students some of the most unusual, lively and gruesome aspects of Tudor life.

Yesterday marked the start of a three-day educational event which will see about 250 Year 8 pupils gather in the grounds of the abbey based loosely on the former monarch's visit to the famous south Norfolk landmark when she pledged money towards its improvement.

Queen Elizabeth herself was on hand to tell the youngsters tales of Tudor social decorum and dress, while friend Sir Walter Raleigh spoke about his adventures.

Inside the abbey an alchemist/astrologer brewed up some unusual potions - dragon vomit was one of the ingredients! - and a surgeon explained some of the grisly procedures of the day.

Court musicians also performed tunes from the period and students were encouraged to try the dances which went with them. There was also impromptu performances of some of William Shakespeare's most famous passages.

And after all that hard work, pupils were treated to an authentic hog roast.

Most Read

The Tudor theme will continue into this evening with a comic production by Spin-Off Theatre at the high school's Studio Theatre called Mardling the Bard which will involve the works of Shakespeare being set in Wymondham performed with local accents and characters.

Many community groups, including Wymondham Heritage Museum, have helped plan the ambitious project, which has been financially supported by Creative Partnerships and the school.

Duncan Rowe, history teacher and project leader, said: 'The idea is to try and get them (students) out of the classroom and give them an educational experience that they will remember for a long time.'

He added: 'We hope a lot of this will stick with them. It is teaching but it is incredibly detailed. These people (re-enactors) know more about the subjects than normal history teachers who can give a general overview.

'And this also brings our students to Wymondham Abbey because although it is in town centre it is scary how many have not been inside.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter