A group of children aged 3 to 5 and their teachers from Yarrells School in Upton, Poole came to see the house at Kingston Lacy beautifully decorated for Christmas. Before the party set off by coach, the mini-historians enjoyed some history stories from a Kingston Lacy volunteer who is also connected with Yarrells School. The children enjoyed a chat and powerpoint about life in late Victorian times at Yarrells House and inspected some real Victorian clothing from the school archive collection. Much of the original Yarrells House dates from the same historical period as Henrietta Bankes and her three children, Viola, Daphne and Ralph, lived there.
Once the children arrived at Kingston Lacy, they started their tour of the wonderful Kingston Lacy House dressed for Christmas. Walking quietly up the grand marble stairway, the small children were especially impressed by the hugae statue of Lady Mary Bankes clutching the keys to Corfe Castle. They were delighted by the numerous tall Christmas trees to be discovered in every room, under which were the presents (wrapped just as Viola had described in her book, A Kingston Lacy Childhood), and all the gorgeous hand-made decorations. The very young children, holding hands in two’s and completely in silent awe, were especially thrilled to step into the “candlelit” Dining Room with its sparkling chandelier and table covered with presents! At the end of the tour, they spotted the dozens of brass bells in the servants’ hall and the electric servant bell board that looked just the same as the one still left in their own central school building. It was a magical day and the very young children returned to school and to parents brimming with excitement at what they had seen and learned. Never too young to enjoy a historical treat! Thank you, Kingston Lacy.
Written by Mrs N A Covell