Find a hobby at historic Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall: Sat 28 May – Sun 19 June  

They say everybody needs a hobby: Little Moreton Hall is the place where you can find one.

Hobby horses are an essential element of the Tudor Midsummer festival taking place at the sixteenth century timber-framed house, near Congleton.

From Saturday 28 May until Friday 17 June as part of the preparations for the festival visitors will be able to help Tudor gentlemen and gentlewomen refurbish the hobby horses, spruce up puppets, including figures of St. George and the Dragon which are other  essential elements of the celebrations, and make garlands, flags, banners, paper flowers and wreaths.

On the Midsummer weekend itself (Sat 18 and Sun 19 June) there is a chance to take part in parades and dances, accompanied by music played on shawms, crumhorns, rauschpfeifen and bagpipes by the renaissance group, ‘Piva’.

1 Ready for the Off. Tudor gentlewoman Anna Fielding with one of the Little Moreton Hall hobby horses C Alan Ingram National Trust

Ready for the Off. Tudor gentlewoman Anna Fielding with one of the Little Moreton Hall hobby horses (c) Alan Ingram National Trust

Jo Williams, from Little Moreton Hall, said:

‘That is where our hobby horses fit in. Very similar to the pantomime horses we see today, they were often prancing around when minstrels, morris dancers and mummers were providing entertainment. The ‘riders’ were often children, as they are here.

‘We hope our visitors will feel the real joy which was a feature of this time of year in the Tudor calendar. People had survived the cold and hardships of winter, had planted crops and were looking forward to the harvest season. In case there were dark clouds on the horizon they had characters like St. George on hand to defend them.

‘As well as taking part in our Midsummer preparations and celebrations people will be able to explore Little Moreton Hall and hear the fascinating story of the Moreton family on one of our very popular guided tours.’

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