The Place to learn
The children loved their tours of the house and all your guides were particularly mindful of the age of the children and the need to speak to them at their level.''
With a history spanning nearly 700 years, Penshurst Place can provide a resource to explore history through the ages; to educate and inform pupils about life in England from the Romans to the modern day.
To ensure you have a productive day out of the classroom, there are also plenty of opportunities for cross-curricular work, all in one place including aspects of Learning for Life, Geography, Science and PE.
For overseas and foreign language students wanting to learn more about British history and culture, Penshurst Place is a valuable historical and cultural resource.
Educational resources available to study at Penshurst Place:
Our Toy Museum can support work at Key Stage 1. Opportunities for developing numeracy skills.
Explore Medieval History; see an authentic 14th century Great Hall and find out how people lived in late Medieval times.
Discover Tudor history; study the Sidney family, who have lived at Penshurst Place since 1552, and many of whom were Royal Courtiers.
See further details about our popular ARMADA TUDOR SCHOOLS WEEK.
Life during World War II - find out more about Lord Gort, maternal grandfather of the current owner of Penshurst Place, who was Commander-in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in Western Europe in the months that led up to the evacuation at Dunkirk and investigate the home guard at Penshurst. Our current family photographic exhibition provides information and other study materials can be supplied.
Portraits: Penshurst Place state rooms have a wide selection of fascinating historic portraits and paintings on display including paintings of Tudor monarchs and the Sidney family through the centuries. There is also a family photographic exhibition. Our guides can tailor a house tour to look at these in more detail with your pupils.
The eight different periods of architecture at Penshurst Place offer an interesting resource to students studying buildings and architecture.
Students studying English literature will be able to gain a useful insight into the famous Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney, who was born at Penshurst Place. There are also further literary links to Penshurst Place from Spenser to Virginia Woolf. Click here for further information.
The historic Gardens & Grounds:
Providing a perfect place to study the natural sciences there is a wide variety of plants including an ancient ginkgo biloba tree, orchards and signs of much biodiversity. Tours are available.
Outdoors learning facilities including the Woodland Trail. Designed in conjunction with the Kent Wildlife Trust it is an excellent resource available to schools. With interpretation panels throughout the Trail, a Woodland Trail question and answer sheet is also available and to download here. Visit the Woodland Trust website for a wide selection of additional free downloadable resources for schools.
Close by in Penshurst Place Parkland is the Sidney Oak which is over 500 years old and named one of the top 50 British Trees in England by the Tree Council.
We can put you in touch with an experienced guide to take you around the facility for an additional charge.
The Bushcraft Company. We are delighted The Bushcraft Company are now offering courses to schools based at Penshurst Place. For more details visit The Bushcraft Company page or click here.
NEW! Maize Maze. Open first two weeks in September. Click here for more information on what can be learnt in a Maize maze. Located behind the adventure playground and via the Woodland Trail.
A typical school visit
Arrive 9.30am Drop off bags in the Education Room, which is by the entrance to the House.
10am - 12noon A guided tour of the House and/or Gardens with follow up work in the Education Room.
12noon - 1pm Lunch in the Education Room or Adventure Playground.
1pm - 2pm A visit to the Toy Museum (open from 12 noon), photographic exhibition and/or the gardens.
2pm - 3pm A walk around the Woodland Trail, to do sketching and/or project work.
Some schools have also used their visit to form part of a film project. Should you wish to do this, please contact us in advance to discuss.
Special facilities available to school groups
We provide an Education Room, which was refurbished in 2011, for follow-up work, lunch and a place where bags can be left. It also contains printed information on display boards for follow-up work.The Education Room is suitable for up to 50 children at one time – please book in advance via our school booking form.
A free ‘Tudor Trail’ Teacher’s Resource Pack is available. All images and contents are for educational purposes only and (c) Penshurst Place & Gardens. A copy of the Resource pack can be downloaded from this website or a hard copy sent to you on booking.
There are also detailed links to other educational resources. available online, on other subject areas. by following the link.
Guided House & Garden Tours - we strongly recommend that schools book a guided house tour. Our guides, many of them were teachers, will tailor the tour to suit the age and curriculum interest of the school group. House tours take place before 12 noon during the season, before the house is open to the general public. Garden Tours can also be tailored to a school group. Combined house and garden tours are also available.
Toy Museum - open 12 noon-4pm, or by special arrangement, we also have a simple trail that can be provided, as well as some Q & A cards in the cabinets. There is also a museum guide giving more detail on each of the exhibits available for research purposes.
Adventure Playground – ideal for children to let off steam at lunchtime or before jumping back on the coach. The Playground is inspected by ROSPA. There are also areas to picnic.
The Woodland Trail area has information panels about animals, birds, damsels and dragonflies, hedgerows and coppiced woodland. There is also a site specific woodland trail worksheet, and excellent downloadable resources for schools on the Woodland Trust website.
Estate, farming and countryside: Penshurst Place is surrounded by tenanted farmland. It is a mixture of arable and livestock. Why Farming Matters provide resources for teaching primary and secondary school pupils, with cross curriculum links, produced by FACE - Farming and Countryside Education.
A full risk assessment for schools is provided.
Foreign Language House tours are available in French, Dutch, Flemish and German. We also have room guides for the staterooms in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese.
One adult is admitted free with every 8 children.
Pupils with Special Educational Needs - adults who accompany students with special educational needs, requiring one to one support, have free entry.
Please see our Access facilities page which includes information for visitors with physical disabilities.
Living History Presentations
Once a year we run a Tudor historical re-enactment for schools: The Armada Living History Presentation. Please follow the link for more details.
We can also provide bespoke packages, inviting costumed characters to present on topics relevant to your curriculum needs. These might include interactive activities with costume displays and trying-on sessions and opportunities to handle certain historical equipment.
Roman times - Bathing, clothing and medicine.
The Tudors – Find out more about life during the Tudor period - see also our annual Armada Presentation.
Victorian Times – Come and join a Victorian School and see how they disciplined school children. Experience a day in the life of a dairy and scullery maid.
2nd World War – Be an evacuee or landgirl and experience an air raid. Explore life on rationing.
For further information download our leaflet here.
Supervision: We recommend 1 adult to 8 schoolchildren – these adults are given free admittance. Any more adults will normally be charged at the adult group rate except where pupils require one-to-one support.
Garden visits only, with access to the Adventure Playground and Toy Museum, can be arranged.
Our photography policy. Please note details of our photography policy. Selected images of the interior of the building are supplied for reference in the Teacher's Resource pack and available in our guidebook.
Visits to other places on the same day
If you would like to combine your trip with a visit to another place of historical interest in the area, go to our Joint Visits page. Please contact us for prices for children and students.
How to book
You are welcome to come on a previsit to find out more. Just contact us to arrange at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01892 870307.
To book, please complete our school booking form and return to email@example.com. Bushcraft courses should be booked direct with The Bushcraft Company.
You can also contact us on 01892 870307 to discuss your trip in more detail or email firstname.lastname@example.org.