The Langley and Dauntesey families of Agecroft Hall would have celebrated a festive holiday season. We don’t know exactly what members of the families thought of Christmas (unfortunately!), but we can guess what they did based on what we know about Christmas traditions of the time.
The type of celebrating would be different depending on whether you were a member of the family who owned the Manor house. For the Dauntesey families, this was a time for the members to show off their wealth and generosity. The table would be filled with delicacies. Master Dauntesey may have enjoyed hunting with members of his family or neighbors. This wild game would be featured at the feasts that would be held at Agecroft. Sugar would also feature prominently on the table. Mistress Dauntesey and her daughters would have directed the kitchen staff to create elaborate desserts.
The Daunteseys would also take this time to give gifts and money to their servants and tenant farmers. The servants and tenants looked forward to this time of year, because they would get time off from their work. In fact, certain activities, like spinning yarn, were banned during the Twelve Days of Christmas. They would also have time to visit friends and enjoy traditional holiday foods like “minced pye.”
These two videos, filmed for our virtual 2020 Yuletides event, explain the food and festivities of Agecroft Hall.