Education Outreach at St Nicholas Priory

Education Outreach at St Nicholas Priory

It was great to be part of a team that worked with 120 school pupils from Sticklepath Community Primary Academy, Barnstaple last week. The school visited St Nicholas Priory in Exeter to learn about what life was like during the Tudor period.

HAP’s Education Specialist Catherine Farnell ran a mini museum activity, where the children got to handle reconstructed historic artefacts. Catherine said..

“It’s always a privilege to work in such a historically significant building with enthusiastic children. It was wonderful to give them the opportunity to have a hands-on exploration of the Tudor period. The children were full of enthusiasm and interest.”

Other workshops included exploring the Tudor kitchen, trying on Tudor clothes and learning about history and climate change.

St Nicholas Priory is Exeter’s oldest building. It was founded in 1087 as a Benedictine monastery and was home to monks for over 400 years. The church, Chapter House, dormitory and cloisters were pulled down following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. The Northern and Western ranges survived and became the home of wealthy Tudor merchants. When you visit the Priory today it is presented as a Tudor town house, home of the wealthy Hurst family. With replica furniture, artefacts and painted in the bright colours used at the time, it gives a unique insight into Tudor life.

If you haven’t yet discovered St Nicholas Priory, it’s a wonderful venue and well worth a visit. Explore the Tudor kitchen (look out for period cooking demonstrations), bedroom, parlour and the Great Hall. Visit the St Nicholas Priory website for opening hours and events.

If you are a teacher and are interested in arranging a visiting to St Nicholas priory, please email

St Nicholas Priory is run by Exeter Historic Building Trust. You can find out more about the excellent work they do in Exeter here.

Bringing the Iron Age to Life for Primary Children

Bringing the Iron Age to Life for Primary Children

HAP has just completed some learning resources for the North Devon AONB, helping bring the Iron Age to life for primary school aged children.

The interactive educational resources are an online, downloadable pack, exploring the hillforts of the North Devon Coast AONB and enabling teachers to inspire pupils about the Iron Age through enquiry based and creative activities. The resources invite pupils to use archaeological techniques to investigate this period in history and reveal what we know about the people who built the hillforts.

North Devon School Resources - Hillforts in the Iron Age

The PDF download contains five lesson ideas and resources that can be used in-class or adapted for outdoor use. Examples include a mirror and shield template, instructions to build an iron-age roundhouse and archaeologist’s toolkit information cards. A set of tactile, reproduction iron-age items and archaeologist’s toolbox are available for schools to loan, free-of-charge from the North Devon Coast AONB.

North Devon Resources - Decorated Iron Age Objects Template

We hope the pack enjoys wide usage within local primary schools, ignites a sense of curiosity about the past and inspires more children to explore the rich North Devon landscape. We were delighted to get this feedback:

Heritage Arts People were commissioned by the North Devon Coast AONB to develop a heritage-themed learning resource, offered on loan to schools for Key Stage 1 & 2 children. We are so pleased with the result – HAP produced a wonderfully creative and engaging package of learning, including lesson plans, visual aids, media links and ideas for outdoor learning. The resource will undoubtedly help us to work more closely with schools in our area, and will inspire both teachers and children to discover and learn about our iron-age landscape.” Joe Penfold, Heritage Officer, North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

You can download the Discover the Iron Age school resource pack on the North Devon Coast AONB website.