On a crisp Autumn morning, Year 5 WOH and DL set off for a day at Highclere Castle. You may know this as the beautiful setting of Downton Abbey, or as home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. However, it was not English history Year 5 were there to discover. Highclere was home to Lord Carnarvon, who worked with Howard Carter to discover the tomb of Tutankhamun, and most of the day’s activities were spent learning more about this determined pair. Three excellent guides took us in turn to the Egyptian exhibition, the gardens and the activity room.
The exhibition was a fascinating collection of real and reproduced objects, the highlight of which was a replica of the tomb of Tutankhamun himself. We had a taste of what it must have been like for Howard Carter when he first shone his torch into the antechamber and Lord Carnarvon asked, 'Can you see anything?' He replied, 'Yes...wonderful things!' We were able to see them for ourselves. In a dimly lit and atmospheric space, we saw glimpses of the golden animal statues, guardians ready to guide Tutankhamun to the afterlife and numerous vessels and treasures with which he was buried. Following this, we saw replicas of two coffins and their preserved contents! The exhibition was definitely a highlight of the day.
In the activity room, the children (and teachers!) had the opportunity to dress up as Egyptian pharaohs, to write their names using hieroglyphics and to take rubbings and do puzzles.
In the tour of the garden, we saw how the land has been cared for and developed over the years. We visited the lovely Secret Garden, where the shrubs were just coming to the end of their flowering season.
All in all, it was a lovely day out, and we thoroughly recommend a visit of your own.
"I enjoyed seeing all the treasures in Tutankhamun's tomb." Simon E.
"I loved seeing the tomb." Joshua M
"I learnt much more about Egypt." Jess C