We encourage educational school group visits at any time of the year, but please prearrange the visit with the curator. For group prices, please see the Opening Times and Prices. There is no charge for teachers and adult helpers.
The Museum and the National Curriculum
Although the Museum touches on other aspects of the National Curriculum the main core subject covered is History. Details are set out below as to how a visit to the Museum may benefit students in the various key stages of History.
The Museum can provide an insight into why people did various things in the past, why there were changes and what events took place to bring about the changes. The range of items in the Museum graphically illustrates the difference in the way of life from 14th century to the present day and how people’s lives were affected. During the guided tour pupils are told how the items in the Museum were used and questions on the historic nature of the 14th century barn and farming implements are welcomed.
There are displays of tools used by barrel makers, blacksmiths and wheelwrights, butter and cheese makers. There are various yokes, one of which was used by oxen for pulling farm equipment and this can be compared with the harness and tackle required by the horse, which superseded oxen on the farm in the early 20th century.
The Museum illustrates the significant events which changed work patterns, such as the Swing Riots of 1831 when the threshing machine was introduced, the invention of the seed drill in 1701 by Jethro Tull and the Industrial Revolution from the late 18th century. The difference in the production of food in the past compared with today is clearly demonstrated by the heavy and cumbersome equipment in the Museum.
The Oast House
The oast house remains largely intact so that pupils can see how hops were collected and processed from the 19th century up until the mid 1960’s. Londoners, from the East End carried out a lot of hop picking and generations of families would descend on Kent as part of their annual holiday. The hop-pickers and their way of life can be seen on a video at the museum. The reason for the rapid decline in hop gardens in Kent and how the industry continues today will be explained.
Also in the oast house is a wide range of items from the past, such as the man traps which until they became illegal in 1829 were used to trap poachers, a smock which was worn by a farmhand, a canning machine from WWII and hundreds of other items from the past.
In addition we have a meeting room where the students can sit and watch our DVD's or be given a short talk. If it is raining the room can be used for other purposes such as eating their packed lunch.