Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

History - Historical Highlights: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

History - Historical Highlights: Resources

Article excerpt

Follow the Tudor Trail at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

What on earth is a "fuddling cup"? And what might a "lion azure" be? The answers (respectively, a multi-spouted trick drinking vessel and a lion motif in blue) are revealed to young visitors in a child-friendly, interactive space linked to the Tudor galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Before they get there, however, students can have fun on the Tudor Trail, which allows them to take a more detailed look at seven items out of the hundreds on display. Armed with a quiz-style leaflet, they try activities ranging from join-the-dots drawings to Tudor crosswords and, with the help of teachers or parents, answer a series of questions.

Among the artefacts is Henry VIII's elaborately decorated writing box emblazoned with images of the Roman gods Mars and Venus. Then there is a fantastically decorated cup, the size of a large soup bowl and shaped like a nautilus shell, the handle of which looks like a figure that is being forcefully ejected from the mouth of a monster.

The trail concludes with what must be one of the V&A's largest and most famous objects: the Great Bed of Ware, as mentioned in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (1601-02). This vast, oak four-poster, which is more than 3m wide, was built for an inn in Ware as a curiosity and tourist attraction, and was advertised as accommodating 12 people. …

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