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Teacher Led Visits    Suggested Topics    Museum Led Workshops    Other Information   


During key stage 1, 2 & 3 pupils are learning about people's lives and lifestyles. They look at history in a variety of ways and by visiting the Museum they can be helped to investigate the past both in depth and in overview. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways and learn to use historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments.

There are endless possibilities for using the inspirational Museum site.

Teacher Led Visits

This timber framed house was built in 1609 and has a chimney to heat the upper and lower floors. This hall house dates mainly from the early 15th century.  With Winkhurst Tudor kitchen it permits the interpretation of life from that period. This house from the mid 17th century has a smoke bay; a transitional stage between an open hall and a chimney. A pair of victorian cottages, one furnished one left unfinished to expose the structure. A good example of the provision of elementary schooling in the early 19th century. Contains the remains of a medieval timber framed building. A fully furnished working Tudor kitchen. A reconstruction of a 13th century cottage probably belonging to a farmer. An early 15th century open hall house with 'cruck' construction.

Suggested Topics

Two worksheets for key stage 3 have been used by schools during visits to the Museum in the summer term.  These pupils were working on History Unit 3 'How hard was life for Medieval people in town and country', Art and Design Unit 7B, 'What's in a building' and Unit 10gen ' Visiting a museum'. With careful planning you will be able to cover other areas of the curriculum during your visit.  
'Everyday Medieval Life'                

'Bayleaf - A Medieval Farmstead'   
Click to view and/or print.

Click to view and/or print.

'Tudor Rich and Poor'This scheme of work developed by Ann Longfield and Valda Shrimpton was adapted from the QCA unit,  ‘What were the differences between the lives of rich and poor people in Tudor times?’ It was designed for use by a Year 4/5 mixed age class.  Click to view
and/or print

Museum Led Workshops
Please see our main museum website for all workshop details

Other Information

Fireplaces The Museum's buildings contain examples of the development of fireplaces from a simple open hearth through smoke bays to chimneys.  A tangible example of design evolution. Details
Victorian Cottages Drawings of Whittaker's Cottages and the contemporary view on the appropriate size for a labourers dwelling. Details
The Wealden House The structure and plan of this type of house common in south east England. Details
Turnpike Trusts Turnpike trusts were formed to collect tolls to pay for the upkeep of highways.  Tolls were collected at toll cottages like the one from Beeding built in 1807 and now at the Museum Details
Lime This document traces the history of lime, its production and its various uses in building construction and decoration. Details
Wattle and Daub A building material used since the Bronze Age and evident in buildings at the Museum. Details
Roofing Materials The history of thatch and other roofing materials such as tile, shingle, stone and slate Details
Gardens , Orchard and Shaws Landscape features surrounding the Bayleaf House with the character and detail of its original 16th century setting. Details
What is a probate inventory? When someone died a probate inventory listed all of his or her wordly possessions. Details
Transcription of William Goldsmith Probate Inventory William Goldsmith lived in Rolvenden in Kent and died in 1566.  This probate inventory lists all of his worldly possessions and makes fascinating reading. Details
Who lived in Bayleaf in the sixteenth century? From at least 1556 to c.1600 a man called Thomas Wells lived in Bayleaf with his family. He was a prosperous yeoman farmer. substance by his neighbours. Details
What is a yeoman? Thomas Wells who lived in Bayleaf was a yeoman farmer. Details
Servants Yeoman farmers like Thomas Wells usually had servants. Details
The Sixteenth Century House Bayleaf is a good example of a late medieval house Details
Poverty and Poor Relief in the Sixteenth Century Thomas Wells was responsible for deciding who would benefit from parish poor fund Details
The Woodlands Products and processes of traditional forestry. Details
Charcoal Burning Processes in the ancient craft of charcoal burning. Details