A Historic Christmas in Suffolk 2017

Written by MiriamSpall on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 09:24

Old houses and Mansions in Suffolk are not only full of interesting facts and history, but they also make the perfect setting to recreate a fantastic vintage Christmas experience.  Keeping this in mind, we have put together our favourite Christmas events taking place in historical places in Suffolk. Step back in time and experience what it would have been like for families back in time, which is not only educational but is also so much fun!

If you're taking your children to meet Father Christmas this year, or just give them an overall magical experience, take a look at the below alternatives.

Father Christmas At The Mansion

Christchurch Mansion: This beautiful Tudor Mansion boasts over 500 years of history. Explore period rooms including the Tudor kitchen, sumptuous Georgian saloon, beautifully detailed Victorian wing and much more!

Address: Soane St, Ipswich IP4 2BE

Tel. 01473 433100

Bring your young children (suitable for under 12s.) to Christchurch Mansion, to meet Father Christmas this year (Tickets £5), who will greet them in the lovely surroundings of the Tudor chamber.

Stick around and make the most of the day by walking around the mansion and enjoying the many planned family activities taking place on the day, including craft activities, life music and a warm glass of mulled wine.

Please note that only two adults are allowed per booking,  this is a very popular event so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.! Book Now

Interesting facts about Tudor Christmas

  • Carols flourished throughout Tudor times as a way to celebrate Christmas but ended in the seventeenth century when the Puritans banned all festivities. Carols remained virtually extinct until the Victorians reinstated the concept of an ‘Olde English Christmas’.

  • Turkey was first introduced into Britain in about 1523 with Henry VIII being one of the first people to eat it as part of the Christmas feast. ( History.co.uk)


Kentwell Hall Dickensian Christmas

Kentwell Hall - is a Tudor mansion built between 1500 and 1550  and one of England's finest houses with extensive gardens and a traditional style farm with rare breeds

Address: High Street, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA

Tel. 01787 310207

How would you and your family like to enjoy an authentic Victorian Christmas experience this year?  Kentwell Hall’s popular seasonal event is back, travel back in history and experience what it would have been like for a child back in the 19th century.  

Walk through the Mansion where you can meet the actors dressed in all their Victorian splendour.  There is loads to see and do; listen to the choir as they sing Christmas tunes in the music hall, enjoy some craft activities in the house, visit the magic show,  cruise through the rooms and enjoy the open fires burning,  the lovely smells of the baking of bread and last but not least meet the man himself who will give your child a special gift.

This is a fantastic immersive experience, and a great opportunity to point out a few facts about this period to your young family. Book Now

Interesting facts;

  • Did you know that at the beginning of the 19th century, Christmas wasn't celebrated much, and it wasn't considered a holiday?  Everything changed during the reign of Queen Victoria, with Prince Albert introducing the Christmas trees in England in the year 1840 and Charles Dickens popularity of his famous book “A Christmas Carol” which inspired several aspects of Christmas, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit.

  • Kentwell Hall’s mansion will be lit by candlelight because electricity was only made available in the late 19th century. Victorians use candles and oil lamps

  • Victorian upper classes lived in large houses and had many servants running the household.

Christmas at Ickworth House

Ickworth House

The house was built between 1795 and 1829, was formerly the chief dwelling of an estate owned by the Hervey family, later Marquesses of Bristol, since 1467.

Address: The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5QE

Tel. 0344 249 1895

Take the whole family back in time to the 1930s and join the festivities at Ickworth house this Christmas!  The maids are busy adorning the basement with homemade decorations,  exchanging gifts and singing Christmas songs at their “Living History - Christmas is Coming” event taking place from Dec 2nd - 03rd.

If you are a Downton Abbey fan, come and enjoy “A Downton Christmas” at the mansion, on the 5th and 6th December at 7.30 pm.  You are invited to spend the evening with Lord and Lady Grandish and the Downton staff as they prepare for Christmas, an immerse experience enacted by the “Cameo Players” who will take you on a trip back in time with the residents from upstairs and down! Expect music, drama and general merriment! The popular “Downton Abbey” series, was set to have taken place between 1912 and 1926, children are welcome!

Finally, Ickworth House comes back to the present and invite your family to join them for a special bit of Ickworth Sparkle.  The children (2-6 years) will meet Father Christmas, take part in craft activities and follow the Christmas trail. Craft making can be done at any point in the day, entry is from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm in the West Wing Gallery.  The Christmas trail is FREE, make sure you pick up a trail sheet from the West Wing reception. To meet Father Christmas children need to book in advance. Book Now

Interesting facts;

  • Though Santa Claus has worn blue and white and green in the past, his traditional red suit came from a 1930s ad by Coca-Cola.

  • After World War I ( 28 Jul 1914 – 11 Nov 1918) a combination of the cost of war, death duties, crippling taxes and declining farm rentals put an end to the life of sophisticated glamour and feudal rights, duties and privileges previously enjoyed by Britain’s landed gentry. ( Source: The Telegraph, why the real Downton Abbeys went into decline after WW1 )


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