Museum brings Christmas past to life

Barnet Press Release

Visitors to the Church Farmhouse Museum (Greyhound Hill, Hendon) this festive season will be able to delve into a bygone era and explore the origins of many Christmas traditions.

The Museum on Greyhound Hill, Hendon is holding its popular ‘Christmas Past’ exhibition from Monday 6 December to Thursday 6 January 2010, shining a light on how the traditions which we consider to be part and parcel of a typical British Christmas came to be.

The museum’s 1850s dining room will be decorated for a Victorian celebration, with explanations about how many modern day festive traditions such as decorations, crackers and even the exchange of presents were either invented or introduced to this country from abroad by the Victorians.

The traditional Christmas tree, a German custom, was virtually unknown in Britain until it was introduced to the Royal family by Queen Victoria’s German born husband, Albert, in the 1840’s, after which it become the candle-lit centre piece of every Victorian upper and middle-class living room.

Around this time the mince pie also began to be made without real meat, turkey replaced goose for dinner and presents were exchanged on Christmas day instead of at New Year.

Many now familiar Christmas carols started to be translated from German or Swedish and man-made decorations replaced holly and ivy to ‘deck the halls’.

This year’s exhibition will also showcase a selection of modern Christmas cards, especially designed for the museum, by the calligraphers of the North London Lettering Association, along with a special Christmas trail for children through the museum’s Victorian rooms.

The Church Farmhouse Museum is open:

Monday – Thursday: 10am – 1pm; 2pm – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 1pm; 2pm – 5.30pm
Sunday: 2pm – 5.30pm

The museum will be closed from the afternoon of 24 December to 26 December 2010 and 1 January 2011.

For more information call: 0208 359 3942 or visit their website.

Amongst her other interests, the events editor of the Finchley Arrow is the secretary of the “Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum“.

*** Blue text has been added by the editor.

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