Time rolled back 170 years to the Victorian era at Farnham Castle when 24 children were invited to A Victorian Child’s Christmas at Farnham Castle, presented by Farnham’s storyteller and castle guide, Gilly Stewart.

The young visitors were transported back to a time when the children of the castle’s cooks, carpenters, grooms, blacksmiths and innkeepers lived in or near the castle.

The little guests entered happily into the spirit of the event by dressing in Victorian costume, the girls in white aprons, mob caps and shawls and the boys in caps and mufflers.

The children were shown pictures and told how boys and girls celebrated in times gone by. They learnt how Prince Albert brought the custom of lighted Christmas trees from Germany, how crackers were first made and when Christmas cards started to be sent and received.

They played with old fashioned dolls and wooden toys of yesteryear and learnt of the little ice age in the l800s when winters were unusually cold and snowy, leading to many Christmas cards even today, showing snowy scenes.

The young visitors were kept busy decorating some snow angels, book marks and paper chains and then they settled down to hear Gilly’s story about a little girl with a very kind heart, playing in the snow, trying to catch and hold a melting snowflake in her hand.

One night Father Christmas appeared, granted her wish and gave her a special silvery white snowflake which she could keep in her heart forever.

To round off their visit, the children danced to the music of Jingle Bells and were given a candy cane and ginger bread man from the Christmas tree as a memento of a very happy couple of hours.

The event was organised and supported by the trustees and volunteers for Farnham Castle Trust responsible for the Farnham Castle and Bishop’s Palace. For information about visiting the castle keep and for tours visit https://www.farnham-castle.com/