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Year 1 visit Wardour Castle

Year 1 had such a wonderful day at Wardour Castle that they could have spent a lot longer there! The day began with a drink and a couple of biscuits, while reading a book about ‘Castles’, to inform us of features to look out for. Imaginations were already running wild and we hadn’t even entered the castle grounds.

When we did eventually get inside, the visit began with a tour around the outside of the ruins, taking notes at the information points, and paying a visit to the Banqueting Hall – which was a later addition to the castle.

While walking around the grounds, we found a Cedar tree that was so enormous that the whole class could stretch their arms around it’s trunk at the same time. There were some interesting guesses as to how old it might be, including ‘a million years’!

Once inside the castle itself, the children were eager to explore, and what an adventure we had! The first room we visited was The Guard Room. The general feeling was that it was too dark for anybody to aspire to that job, although lovely Mrs Beach was spotted waving outside as we peeped through the tiny ‘look out’ window, which brightened the atmosphere inside.

We used our feet to measure the thickness of the exterior walls and were fascinated to see where the ‘portcullis’ would once have been.

The Courtyard area of the castle had been built with six sides, which the children counted and were quick to recognize as a hexagon.

There was great excitement visiting what would have been The Great Hall and imagining the feasting and dancing that would have once taken place there. We were all astonished to see how big the chimney was in the kitchen and the children expected to find a ‘dungeon’ at every turn – we never did, but there was a lot of places to hide in, and imagine to be a dungeon…

Legs grew tired as we climbed up then down ninety-two steps, and from the top the views were so spectacular that some children reckoned they could see Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and their own homes, among other things. One thing we did see for sure, was the minibus in the car park and the rumbles in our tummies told us that it was time to return to the bus to collect our picnic lunch (with some rolling down the hill on the way there!)
After lunch, there was an opportunity for a run around in the beautiful grounds and a game of ‘duck, duck, goose’ before sitting quietly to enjoy the peace and tranquility and listen to the birds while making a sketch of the castle.
The quality of the sketches showed just how inspired the children were by their day out.

Once the sketches were complete, we had a look around the ‘Grotto’ where we saw ammonites, a tiny birds nest and imagined Kevin Costner when he had been there filming ‘Robin Hood’……perhaps that was just Mrs Reeve and Mrs Beach.

There was just time for another few minutes of rolling down the hill and an ice-cream before we got back on the minibus and returned to school with smiling faces and happy memories of a great day out.

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