Ford Green Hall is an impressive timber-framed farmhouse built originally in 1624 for the Ford family. It's now an award winning museum, steeped in 17th century history with an admirable collection of textiles, ceramics and furniture.
Throughout the year, many wonderful events are held at Ford Green Hall, one of which we enjoyed today, courtesy of Visit Stoke and the #MyStokeStory campaign.
Situated in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, Ford Green Hall and the adjacent nature reserve is easily accessible by car and public transport. The car park is free, and just a short walk via the main road to the path that leads to the museum entrance. My children were instantly invited by the carpet of orange leaves that greeted them outside, and we had to have a play before we went in!
Remember, Remember, the 5th of November
We entered via the quaint tea room and were met by friendly staff who guided us to the first exciting event. In the Parlour, we found Guy Fawkes! He captured the children's attention with stories about the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, showing them how gunpowder was used in bombs and weapons.
Apparently the phrase, "biting the bullet" was said to originate from this period, as soldiers used to hold the bullets in their mouths for quick insertion into their guns! They would also chew them so they would fit... yuck! After our little history lesson, Guy Fawkes waved us on our way and we moved on to the Hall.
The Gunpowder Trail
When we arrived, we had been given a Gunpowder Trail to complete. Having found the first barrel in the Parlour, we set off to solve the rest of the clues so we could find the rest! Our hunt took us to the main hall, a place where the family would have gathered to cook and eat together. Today, the Hall had been decorated for Halloween, with lights, pumpkins and even a squawking black raven!
|The Hall was dressed up for Halloween.
|We enjoyed the smell of some herbs more than others!
|We had fun taking selfies as Henry VIII's wives!
|We had a go at some traditional games.
Our last activity was a Halloween craft activity. The children could make spiders or haunted houses. We spent almost an hour colouring and sticking, creating creepy haunted houses to take home! You really didn't need that long but what can I say? When my kids are busy and happy... they won't be rushed!!
After we had
finally finished the crafts, it was my turn to test the children's patience! We stopped for a quick photo with Guy Fawkes before popping into the tea room for a (much needed post-crafting with two small kids) cuppa and a cake. There is a pretty good selection of snacks to accompany your drinks, and they're very good value too. I spent under a fiver re-fuelling us all before we went home.
|A photo with Guy Fawkes to finish!
Can you spare some change?
Now a charitable organisation, the museum relies on donations from organisations and the public to help with running costs and repairs. Currently, they are raising money via a Just Giving page to pay for the necessary refurbishment of one of the old oak beams. It's estimated cost will be £20,000! All donations are gratefully received, either online or via the collection points at the museum.
|Ford Green Hall from the outside.
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