Herbs Underfoot

Herbs were a big part of the spring cleaning routine. They were used in soaps for washing linens. Herbs were also an important component of perfumes, which were used to make people and clothing smell better. In Tudor England, the belief was that things that had a strong pleasant smell could be used to combat anything that smelled bad. So if the house smelled bad for some reason, covering it up with good smells was the preferred way to fight the stink.


If you visit Agecroft Hall, you might notice something interesting in the Great Hall. On the floor, you will see something that looks like straw. These are rushes, and they are meant to help protect the floor and make the floor easier to clean. At Agecroft, we have the rushes in one part of the room for safety reasons, but in the 1600s the rushes would be all over the floor. The rushes would have had herbs strewn in them. The herbs would release their scent as people walked over them, which would make the room smell sweet.



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4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond, VA 23221 

(804) 353.4241