10 October 2014
I had already visited Brodsworth Hall and gardens taking my children for a day out on a standard day. This was our second visit which was on one of the Brodsworth at War special event days. I took my family along as a member of the English Heritage members panel.
The day that we visited was based around the end of the war, preparations for the returning troops and plans for a memorial for the fallen.
I visited with my family including our two children Amelia aged 9 and Oliver aged 4. We arrived during the morning. The gardens were open, but the hall didn't open until 1pm. That was not a problem as it gave our children time to stretch their legs after the long drive, so we went straight to the children's play area. The play area includes an old boat, two play boats and a good climbing play area with climbing wall and rope ladders. Unfortunately the old boat was fenced off to allow for repairs, but the rest of the play area was in excellent condition.
We then had lunch from the tea room, which we ate outside before going into the hall.
We have visited Brodsworth Hall before when the normal theme in the hall is about the history of the Hall and the families that lived there. During the event there was still regular features about the family, but many of the rooms had special features relating to the hall being requisitioned for use as a headquarters for the home guard. Whilst we certainly enjoyed looking around the hall before, this special event was better than the previous visit as the World Wars are something that our children had learned about in school. There was some quiz sheets that the children could fill in as they went around the hall. The quiz was particularly well written as it made it obvious which room the answers could be found it. This avoids the frustration of having to backtrack if you miss a clue. They also made the use of interactive audio exhibits in many of the rooms.
My children also enjoyed learning French knitting thanks to some of the English Heritage volunteers.
After exploring the hall we played some croquet on the lawn and then explored the large gardens. There was plenty to explore in the gardens including a summer house, a target house and various paths and bridges.
There were also several themed activities throughout the day, including music and some theatrical events. These were less appealing to my children, but I enjoyed the one that I watched. The one that I watched involved the vicar and the lady of the house talking about a memorial for those that died during the wall. The acting was really good and it provided a different perspective to the displays in the hall.