On Friday we had a field trip to Oliver Cromwell's home in Ely. Most Americans probably haven't heard of him; I know I hadn't. He is largely known as the person responsible for cutting off the head of King Charles the 1st. He then became known as Lord Protector for Britain for about 16 years. I never knew Britain didn't have a Royal Family at any point in its history and it is fascinating to read the destruction of the Royal family and then the return of the British Monarchy. Oliver Cromwell led a very fascinating life and it is still being debated whether he was a hero or a villain.
Oliver Cromwell rose from being a middle class farmer to the leader of Britain in a very short time. He took on the Monarchy and made historic changes in British history. He was a Puritan and was responsible for the closing or destruction of many churches that didn't conformed to his Puritan beliefs.
Outside his home, which is also the Tourist center for the town of Ely.
Ely was once a small island surrounded by tributaries and marsh land in the Fens. The town was known for the many eels that could be caught in the waters around Ely and were a source of food for those that lived here.
This was the kitchen and some of the food of the period. Eels are still served in some of the local restaurants today. And in case you are wondering, NO I haven't tried it;)
We were shown hanging (stuffed) animals that were eaten and told that the meat would be hung from the ceiling and it was considered good if the meat was covered with maggots as the meat would not be a tough, YUCK!
The Cromwell's had 10 children
This is the dress of the time period.
This is the children's dress of the period but we were told boys were dress similar to girls until about the age of 6.
We were shown some of the toys of the period and the kids were able to play a few. Many were familiar such as the Hobby horse, Quoits, shuttle cock and hopscotch, but some were not.
The weapons and armour of the time used in the civil war.
His death bed where it is said this room is haunted. We didn't see any ghost:)
When Oliver Cromwell died he did not rest in peace as Charles II (the son of Charles I) returned to the throne after Cromwell's death and had his revenge. Charles II had Cromwell's body dug up and beheaded. The corpse was then cut up and the body quartered. It is rumored the body was thrown in the River Thames. Somehow the skull was rescued and is now secretly buried at Cambridge university (where Cromwell was a student) as it is still feared someone will steal it or destroy the skull. Fascinating life and period of British history.
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We are having a give away at the end of the month. Join in the fun!! Hope to see you there!!