Victorian experience for Year 5

Year 5 visited The Chiltern Open Air Museum as part of their study on the Victorians. The children enjoyed having a first-hand experience of what it was like for people in the Victorian era.

Year 5 dressing up

Before lunch, the pupils participated in two very well run workshops led by members of the museum staff. The workshop on lighting took children back to the time of oil lamps and candles – each child made their own candle using tallow and some pupils had the opportunity to do some dressing up. The second workshop invited the children to do some washing, the old fashioned way, using wash boards and mangle machines for wringing clothes. The children thoroughly enjoyed the workshops. 

After lunch, the pupils had the opportunity to see things like a privy (an outside toilet), a cherry tree ladder, used for picking cherries, and a shepherd’s hut.


The children had a great time visiting and exploring different areas of the museum. The pupils were given a simple worksheet to complete with questions about the different buildings and their uses.

Year 5 at Chiltern Open Air Museum

The pupils were fascinated with the farm; they were able to see the rudimentary tools used by the farmers compared to the advanced machinery used today.  There were several different buildings in the farmyard that the children explored. The pupils went in and explored the Rossway Granary, which was used for storing grain. It was seated on mushroom shaped stones to keep the grain dry. The pupils visited the Cattle Byre, where the cows were milked, and butter was churned and shaped.

It was great to see the children observing what it was like to live in a Victorian home, they enjoyed exploring the High Wycombe Toll House built in the 19th century. They were amazed at how two adults and three children could reside in such a small house with a toilet (privy) situated outside.


The children enjoyed learning more about the Victorian era in such an interactive and dynamic way!