Year 4 Residential 2015

Photos from our time at Ufton Court

The PhotoPeach slideshows below uses Flash. If you can’t see it, you may need to download Flash.

Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar

Our favourite parts of the Ufton Court residential trip

It’s hard to choose from the brilliant activities, but these are a few of our highlights…

Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar

Morning Everyone!

After a good night sleep, we got up to a delicious breakfast of cereal, fruit and spaghetti hoops on toast. Bags are all packed and we are ready for our first activity of the day- making Roman medicines.

Wednesday at Ufton

IMG_0049Jacob said, “I loved trebuchet building because we got to throw water balloons at each other. We had to put big planks of wood together with square lashings and a bucket at the end to put ammunition into it. Our team were firing against Mrs Carlucci’s team – and we won!”

Crystal said, “I liked it when we made the trebuchet because when we were firing it we had to put it in the right direction which took time. We had to work as a team to get everything in place which was a bit hard. We were firing ours against Mr Jeffreys’ team – I think they won because our water balloons didn’t pop so they fired them back at us.”

Josh H-S said, “The treasure hunt was my favourite bit. We had to run around and find different pieces of paper attached to different trees. They had two dates, a letter and a weird Ogham symbols. The Celts had 13 months in the year, with 28 days in each – and these letters and symbols were to do with each of them.”

Muhsin said, “After this evening’s banquet, we acted out Theseus and the Minotaur. I knew the story already but it was really funny because people acted it out in different ways.”

!IMG_9991Chloe said, “We had to find a partner to make our spears. We had to hunt for a stick which was as long as our arm and as wide as your thumb. We then had to get a peeler and start peeling it to get really sharp. It was quite hard because it wouldn’t get very sharp and the peelers weren’t that sharp either. When we had made them we had to try to hunt the wooden animals by throwing our spears at them.”


Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar

Lunch done!

imageWe arrived safely this morning and have just finished a vegetable pasta. Ali says, “It was the most yummy pasta ever!”

Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar

Where is Ufton Court?

The History of Ufton Court

The history of Ufton Court can be tracked back to the Doomsday book, where it is referred to as Offetone, with land for five ploughs, forty acres of meadow and wood for one hog.

The house was originally a small medieval manor called Ufton Pole and was the home of Lord Lovell. Some of this original house remains today, including the crossway of the great hall with the original buttery and pantry doors. Lovell was made a Viscount by Edward IV and then was in Richard III’s inner circle. A well known doggerel of the time refers to Lovell in less than complimentary terms;

The cat, the rat and Lovell the dog,
Rule all England under the hog.

The writer of this, Collingwood, was hung, drawn and quartered for his efforts. Lovell fell from grace after the battle of Bosworth and the death of Richard III. Lovell was accused of high treason by Henry VII and Ufton Pole was confiscated by the crown. Twenty three years later Henry VIII gave Ufton Pole to Richard Weston, one of his pages.

In 1568 Pole Manor was bought by Lady Marvyn. She enlarged the house significantly, completing it in 1576, and moved her family from a nearby residence of Ufton Robert to Ufton Court, as it then became known. Some of the decorative beams in the house today came from Ufton Robert.  Lady Marvyn began a tradition that is continued to the present day. In thanks to the villagers who rescued her when she got lost in the extensive local woods, she left money in her will for an annual dole to be handed out to the villagers every Maundy Thursday. It is said there is a curse on the landlord who breaks the tradition, whether this is true or not, no landlord has risked it and Sir William Benyon, the current landlord, can be found on Maundy Thursday handing out bread and sheets to the parishoners of Ufton Nervet. Lady Marvyn left the house to her nephew, Francis Perkins, it then remained in the Perkins family until 1769.

The Perkins were well known Catholics who were persecuted by the local magistrates in the 16th century. They had to pay heavy fines for refusing to attend the parish church, and Ufton Court was raided at least twice by officials looking for priests in hiding. Sir Francis Knollys found some of the priest holes and a small fortune in gold plate in 1599, but the priests had gone. The secret chapel up in the rafters of the court still remains today, as well as traces of an escape tunnel leading into the woods. In the 18th century, long after the persecutions had stopped, Bonnie Prince Charlie is said to have visited the Perkins’ on one of his forays back into the country incognito.

In 1715, Francis Perkins married Arabella Fermour, a well known society figure. She was the daughter of Henry Fermor Esq. of Tusmore in Oxfordshire. The fame of her beauty and her charms, as celebrated both by poets and painters, has come down to posterity, for she was the belle of London society in the early years of the 18th century.
The poet Parnell sings of the dismay of the “jeunesse dorée” of the time when this fascinating lady left London for the country in the Summer:

From town fair Arabella flies;
The beaux, unpowdered, grieve;
The rivers play before her eyes,
The breezes softly breathing rise,
The spring begins to live….etc

But in spite of the admiration of the world of fashion, which she no doubt enjoyed in her lifetime, it is probable that the lady would not have been remembered had she not become the inspiration for the most successful of all Alexander Pope’s poetical works, ‘The Rape of the Lock’.  The poem was inspired by a London scandal when Lord Petre, a young man of twenty, cut off and stole a lock of her hair without her knowledge. She was very angry and a serious quarrel took place between the two families. Whereupon, Pope’s friend, John Caryll of Lady Holt (Sussex), proposed that he should write something slight and amusing on the subject, in the hopes that good-natured humour might appease the ill-feeling that had been excited.

The poem was in every way suited for its purpose. Unfortunately, however, Pope, was not personally acquainted with Mistress Arabella and he published his work without asking her leave. Moreover, he appended to it a motto, which was taken by her friends to imply that she had asked him to compose the poem. Instead of mending matters, he, therefore, only made them worse, drawing another quarrel upon himself. In consequence, Pope was obliged to bring out another edition, suppressing the objectionable motto and prefixing a propitiatory letter of dedication instead. In this, he assured Arabella that the incidents of the poem were all “as fabulous as the vision at the beginning, except the loss of your hair, which I always mention with reverence; . . . the character of Belinda as it is now managed resembles you in nothing but beauty….It will be vain to deny that I have some regard for this piece since I dedicate it to you….If it had as many graces as there are in your Person or in your Mind; yet I could never hope it should pass through the world half so uncensured as you have done.” The lady seems to have been pacified and, perhaps, even accorded Pope her friendship.

Francis Perkins and Arabella were actually 9th cousins, but it is unlikely that they were aware of the relationship. For the wedding, Pope wrote her an almost affectionate letter. He says, “It may be expected, perhaps, that one who has the title of poet should say something more polite on this occasion, but I am, really, more a well-wisher to your felicity than a celebrator of your beauty. Besides, you are now a married woman, & in a way to be a great many better things than a fine lady, such as an excellent wife, a faithful friend, a tender parent, & at last, as the consequence of them all, a saint in heaven.”

There is a tradition that it was for Arabella Fermor that Ufton Court was refashioned and enlarged. Certainly one half of the frontage was, prior to further alterations made in 1838, of the style popular at the time of her marriage. Parts of the interior, also, were modernized; the hall and dining-room, while retaining their Elizabethan ceilings, were entirely re-panelled, and the style would fix this alteration also to early in the eighteenth century.

Arabella and Francis had six children who all died childless and the house fell into neglect and virtual abandonment, it was advertised for sale in 1837 as ‘unfit for a gentlemans residence.’  It was finally bought by Mr Benyon de Beauvoir of the neighbouring estate of Englefield, who repaired the house and turned it into tenements for his labourers.

Various tenants lived in the house over the next 100 years. The most notable were Mary Sharp, whose detailed history of the house provides us with much valuable information, and Mr and Mrs Harry Benyon. During this time the house was restored into a gentlemans residence again and there are pictures of the gardens resplendent with herbaceous borders and roses.