“[The project had a] Wow factor…Children had experiences they will never have again…Thank you for helping us with our studies and helping to arrange such a wonderful day.”
(Wendy Britton, National School.)
Grimsthorpe has been the home of the de Eresby family since 1516, when it was granted by Henry VIII to the 10th Baron Willoughby de Eresby on the occasion of his marriage to Maria de Salinas, kinswoman and lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon.
Grimsthorpe Park was the southern edge of the great Lincolnshire forest. Oak trees that had been recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086 were growing in the park when drawings of the park were made in the early 18th century. Some of these ancient trees were still growing here in the 20th century; oaks were felled during the Tudor period for ship building and again during Cromwell’s ten year Commonwealth.
The oak trees you see today were planted after the restoration of the Stuart Monarchy, the straight ridings through the trees creating a formal park. The Four Mile Riding was a double planted oak avenue which ran from the castle to the boundary of the Park. The formal pattern of the ridings remains, though some have been replanted as chestnut avenues.
In the 18th century the open Vaudey became the ‘Foal Field Race’ with gallops for training the 3rd Duke of Ancaster’s racehorses. In the 1920s the Vaudey was used as a 9 hole golf course, and served as a bombing range during the Second World War. Nowadays the Vaudey is farmed. The Vaudey was once home to a grand Cistercian Abbey, the word Vaudey being derived from the French for ‘Valley of God’.
HERO Project: ‘CACHE POINTS’
Beyond the Castle walls the parkland provides a great opportunity to access and investigate a variety of habitats and sites within a diverse landscape. Through imaginative activities children step back in time and consider the future through the local environment – above their heads and under their feet. Hidden within the landscapes a number of artefacts are carefully placed in a cache boxes waiting to be investigated.
Resource boxes are ‘hidden’ around the parkland, holding documents and artefacts related to the specific location. Pupils are given clues to the locations and once found these resource boxes or Cache Points provide a wealth of stimuli, and an insight into the historic and environmental importance of the surroundings.
By focusing on up to four separate cache points there are a range of opportunities and interests to be explored - from dinosaurs to monasteries; from the gentle sounds of music to the chase of the Tudor hunting party. The resources are very flexible and are designed to inspire follow up activities or to reinforce traditional classroom lessons.
The four sites on the parkland have been selected for their diversity of character and historical and environmental interest:
Cache Point 1: The Lakeside
The lakeside was the scene of the accident that killed Thomas Linley, a contemporary of Mozart. The lake is surrounded by a range of habitats and is an opportunity to study Man’s impact on the environment, continuity and change
Cache Point 2: Vaudey Abbey
The site of the Cistercian abbey inspires historical investigation, primarily the Tudors (covered in depth by QCA schemes of work during Years 3 and 4), role-play, debate and a spiritual education
Cache Point 3: Steels Riding / Deer Park
It is said that Henry VIII hunted on the Grimsthorpe Estate. The nature and habitats within Steels Riding leads to activities relating to countryside management and conservation within a historical context
Cache Point 4: Pots and Pans disused quarry
The limestone quarries on the Estate enabled the building of the original Castle, Vaudey Abbey and the current House. Stone is still quarried on the Estate to this day for its own upkeep. Limestone quarries are also worthy of study for their habitats and aid learning about Rocks and Soils (a QCA Year 3 Science Scheme of Work).
As focus groups recommended, a visiting group can use this resource to suit their own needs. Cache contents can be, should the teacher(s) request, changed or modified to suit individual teacher requirements; activities are presented as a guide rather than a fixed scheme of work. This resource explicitly responds to “Education for Sustainable Development”, a National Curriculum approach to the whole curriculum and management of schools.
Education for Sustainable Development
Through “Education for Sustainable Development” (ESD), opportunities are created to encourage the protection of natural resources and opportunities for future generations. These are often identified through the following:
The seven key concepts of ESD:
Already have a user name and password? Click here to download resources developed at Grimsthorpe Castle.
The caches’ contents include artefacts and objects related to each site and have significant relevance across the curriculum, including:
This resource was developed in partnership with The Outdoor Classroom.