Event report

Tudor Herbs and Spices: Folklore, Wisdom and Medicine

Tutor: Sue Hughes

Discussing the uses of herbs in Tudor medicine

Discussing the uses of herbs in Tudor medicine

Sue Hughes set us going with a talk on the history and development of herbal medicine, and on the influence of John Gerard, the sixteenth century herbalist from Nantwich, who wrote the General Historie of Plants, which is a detailed description of plants and their uses and the folklore associated with them.  We heard about the uses of herbs and spices in the 16th century, for strewing, for dyes, in cooking, in medicines and in folklore.

Sue showed us various dried herbs and herbalist's equipment, and we made our own herb bags.  We also tasted griddle breads, spinach flan, spice cake, jumbles, apple mouse, and ginger bread; all made by Sue using traditional Tudor recipes.

Tasting Tudor recipes

Tasting Tudor recipes

When the Old Medicine House, was moved to Blackden from Wrinehill, wildflower and herb seeds that had been in cracks in the beams fell to the ground, sprouted and established themselves around the house.  Because there were no obvious remains of the herb garden around the Tudor apothecary's house on its original site, we felt free to create of one of our own.  So we examined the herb plants that would have been grown in the sixteenth century, laid out a design and planted the herbs in front of the Old Medicine House.

It was a varied and fascinating day, and one that added a new facet to the resources of the Trust.

Our visitors enjoyed 'the lovely friendly atmosphere', 'the Tudor food', 'the history of herbs and the planting,' 'the access to this magical historical house, with its quite exceptional ambience, and its connection to Cheshire's past and prehistory.'

'The whole day was magic. I haven't enjoyed myself so much for years.'

Examining the herb plants

Examining the herb plants

Planting the herbs

Planting the herbs

 

Printed on: 19 Dec 2018

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