Our Year 5 King’s Ely Prep pupils had an awesome time experiencing life during Victorian Britain when they visited Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse!

The action-packed trip was organised through our extensive co-curricular programme, to enrich the children’s current topic in their History lessons.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is based in a former workhouse, originally opened in 1777 as a ‘House of Industry’. Now the site houses an extensive museum exploring what life was like for those who once lived and worked there.

Dressed for the occasion, our young historians learnt about and got to try a whole host of different activities from the period – discovering what life was like under the regime of the workhouse clock, what food was served, oakum picking, and the different classes of inmates.

They got to explore what work inmates had to do, and they visited the refractory cell (known as ‘the dungeon’) where inmates were sent if they broke the rules. Stepping into the workhouse yards was an eye-opener, especially to learn that some men could spend eight to nine hours each day working outside.

Equally as fascinating were the boys’ yard, the walls of which contain many examples of inmates’ names scratched into bricks, the laundry, the school room, and the statues of Christopher High and his family. In the school room, Year 5s experienced how lessons would have been taught, as well as what punishments would have been issued for poor behaviour.

A fantastic day trip, filled with learning, experiences, laughter and memories!

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