Victorian Lifestyle Re-Enactment

Vanity and Vagrants in Victorian Romsey



Following the success of our Tudor role play, King John's House and Heritage Centre have once again teamed up with Creative History, this time to create a Victorian themed role play entitled Vanity and Vagrants in Victorian Romsey, which explores the Victorian heritage of King John’s House. The activities will highlight the difference between rich and poor children in the nineteenth century, addressing the issues that arose from your class during this time, and emphasising how different both these children were from children today. At the same time the activities will develop the children's awareness of history’s relation to their own lives and local built environment, and help to expand their historical skills and knowledge of this period. The role play will be based in the recreated home and shop of the Moody family, and will enable the children to step back in time to Victorian Romsey, when Mr and Mrs Moody lived, with their eight children, at Church Street. The children will be lead by a Victorian teacher, shopkeeper, gardener and others, who will help them with their tasks. These will include discovering the challenges of writing with pen and ink; the complexities of shopping and money; the joys of Victorian toys and games, and making their own Victorian souvenir to take home. In addition your visit will include a costumed role-play recreating the time when King John’s house was a workhouse. The children will experience what happened to those who had nothing and how different these lives were from their own. They will be cast and dressed either as rich or poor, before sampling a meal in the workhouse. Similarly to our Tudor role-play, the project uses hot seating, re-enactment, resource handling and costumes to stimulate curiosity and development of historical skills. ‘Vanity and Vagrants’ is closely linked to the National Curriculum, particularly topics on Victorians and Homes. However it also supports a wide range of other topics and areas such as Class, The Industrial Revolution, Impact of Man on the Environment, Settlement, Buildings, Clothes, Containers, Materials, Structures. The site is also a fantastic stimulus for poetry, story writing and artwork.    

Example Programme

No. of children 27 No of accompanying adults 4 09:45 - 10:00 Arrive, book in, store bags. 10:00 - 10:15 Explain the activities and split into three groups of nine. 10:15 - 11:15 Each group spends 20 minutes on each activity; it could be schooling, toys, sweet making, writing, food, or clothes depending on your previously stated preferences. 11:15 - 11:35 Come together. Assign costumes, Costume-up ready for the Workhouse 11:40 - 12:10 Re-enact in the Workhouse 12:10 - 12:20 De-costume 12:20 - 12:30 Questions and review Lunch, Romsey, or home!  

Booking information

When: every Wednesday during term time. (Booked in advance – if this not suitable we may be able to offer another day) Cost: £5.00 per schoolchild - accompanying adults free. (This is based on a minimum class size of 27. Smaller groups may have to combine with another school or pay a higher fee.) Participants: KS1 or KS2 focusing on topics related to Victorians, Homes, Costume, Food or Materials. Sessions: Start at 10:00 and last 2 - 2½ hours. Facilities: Medieval - Victorian buildings plus gardens.
  • Costumed qualified teacher to lead the visit.
  • Victorian-styled costumes for each child.
  • Museum shop.
  • Toilets on site.
  • Sheltered area for eating lunches.
  • Storage area for bags and coats.
We need:
  • Name of school & phone number.
  • Contact person / lead teacher.
  • Number of children & accompanying adults.
  • Any allergies (Children usually try bread during the feast and explore the garden).
  • The topic the visit is being linked to. (This impacts on the activities used for your visit.)
  • Preferred date(s).
  • If you are staying on site for lunch.