Dickensian Christmas | Kentwell Hall

Dickensian Christmas

A magical, festive day for the whole family.

Kentwell's Dickensian Christmas is a wonderful day out for the whole family, with a huge amount to see and do.

  • Victorian Household - it is 1869 in our lovely moated Hall - meet the Victorian Family and their Staff
  • Visit Father Christmas or St Nicholas (for children)
  • Mr Dickens reads an abridged version of his 'A Christmas Carol', complete with Victorian special effects (please note this takes place upstairs, where we have no lift)
  • Enter the magical Storybook Rooms, where a popular story is brought to life.
  • Train to be an Elf at the Elf and Safety Training School and assault course (for children)
  • Enjoy our Music Hall & Magic Show (please note this takes place upstairs, where we have no lift)
  • Visit the Victorian Tavern and play traditional table games while you refresh your thirst (please note this is upstairs, where we have no lift)
  • Victorian Villagers - in sharp contrast, find out how the 'other half' lived!
  • Make a Christmas Decoration a craft for the family to make together
  • Tearoom and Grill serving refreshments all day, plus lunches
  • Join in with the Carols by Lantern in the Christmas Courtyard at the end of the day

"Even though we thought the tickets were quite expensive, it was very good value. It really was a whole day's worth of entertainment and activities."

Spend A Day in the Age of Dickens

Charles Dickens was much responsible for creating our modern idea of Christmas.

Enter the event during a chosen time band and thereafter spend the rest of your day in Victorian England.

See how the House is set up for Christmas in Victorian style, with traditional decorations. Meet the Victorian family as it portrays life at a great country house in the year 1869. Experience the Upstairs/Downstairs life!

Kentwell's Stableyard Tearoom will be open all day, serving refreshments throughout the day. Lunches will also be available.

I visited the Dickensian event yesterday with my family and just wanted to say how very much we enjoyed the Victorian Christmas. Very authentic and lots of fun. The lunch was excellent, Christmas Carol was amazing, Father Christmas was just lovely, and his little cottage. The house looked so beautiful and to end our visit the Christmas Carols.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas Crafts, the children (and I) were so pleased with our decorations and we have put them on our tree.  Amazing!

I do hope everyone enjoys their visit as much as we did. I am sure it took an enormous amount of hard work and effort to put it on and get everything ready.  A truly wonderful start to Christmas.

with good wishes, Christine

A Kentwell Dickensian Christmas set in 1869

The Family

In 1869, Capt. and Mrs Bence lived at the Hall with their children.

The 'family' and their guests will be enjoying the festive season. See the huge tree in the Great Hall, decorated in Victorian-style and join in with traditional games and activities there.

The Household

The Bence family was very typical of an upper class family in having about twice as many staff to look after the family as there were in the family. Superior servants were the Butler, Housekeeper and Cook, each with lesser staff below each of them.

We hear that the Housekeeper is looking to engage some new staff members - girls to be housemaids and boys to be hall boys.

The Victorian Kitchen

Here the Cook rules. As well as preparing meals for the Family, the Nursery and both Upper & Lesser Staff every day, at this time of year the cooks will also be preparing all kinds of suitable and traditional dishes for Christmas.

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens gave public readings of many of his works, of which A Christmas Carol was especially popular, particularly at this season of the year. Kentwell presents an abridgement of 'A Christmas Carol', narrated by Mr Dickens himself. He is assisted by Scrooge and other characters to produce a performance using clever Victorian illusions which bring the story of the ghosts and spirits to life, and which confound and entertain the audience.

Music Hall and Tavern

Music Hall became the entertainment of the Victorian era. Here in the the House's little Overcroft theatre, Capt Bence has invited local amateur performers to create Music Hall performances for his friends, staff and villagers. The show will include popular music hall songs, interspersed with readings and recitations and 'The Great Edmundo' will amaze children with his conjuring.

Why not visit the Rose and Crown Tavern before or after your visit to the Music Hall? Enjoy a tankard of beer or a glass of mulled wine while you play some authentic table games.

Making Christmas Items

In those days, most families made their own decorations. Under skilled guidance, visitors will be able to make a traditional Christmas decoration to take home and treasure.

The Christmas Courtyard

The Tudor Stables becomes a magical Christmas Courtyard, with a large, lit Christmas Tree as the focal point. This is the romantic location for the Carols by Lanternlight, at the end of the day, as well as home to other activities during the daytime.

Father Christmas

Visitors may visit our Father Christmas to tell him their wishes and for younger children to receive a present.


Please do not think that Kentwell is just a fair weather visit - we will carry on whatever the weather.

How long to spend?

Most people arrive early in their entry time-band and aim to spend most of the day here - there is so much to do and see.


We shall be be serving Refreshments throughout the day.

Please do not attend in Costume!

We ask that visitors to any Kentwell event do not attend in any sort of costume.

Tickets and Prices

Special Prices apply for these weekends - please see below. HHA visitors do not enjoy free entry during this weekend. Buy your tickets on-line at discounted prices in advance of your visit.

It is essential that you book in advance to avoid disappointment - this is a very popular event and we are unlikely to have any tickets available to purchase on the day.

No dogs are allowed within the grounds. Free parking.

Please note: on-line tickets must be booked before 9am on the day of your visit.

The ticket price is all-inclusive; it includes all activities listed above - except for catering.

Choose your arrival time-band - this is the time at which you will enter the event. On the day, you will receive a timed ticket for your family's visit to Father Christmas. You are welcome to stay and visit all of the activities at your leisure, until we close at approx. 5pm, following Christmas Carol singing.

Ticket Prices

Online PricesSat 7/Sun 8 DecSat 14/Sun 15 DecOn The Day pricesSat 7/Sun 8 DecSat 14/Sun 15 Dec
Adult from 10am33.5039.50Adult from 10am34.5040.50
Child 12-15 from 10am27.3029.95Child 12-15 from 10am28.3030.95
Child 4-11 from 10am22.0025.00Child 4-11 from 10am23.0026.00
Child u4 from 10am10.2510.25Child u4 from 10am11.2511.25
Child u18m from 10amFreeFreeChild u18m from 10amFreeFree
Adult from 1pm29.5031.50Adult from 1pm30.5032.50
Child 12-15 from 1pm21.6524.95Child 12-15 from 1pm22.6525.95
Child 4-11 from 1pm18.0021.00Child 4-11 from 1pm19.0022.00
Child u4 from 10am8.208.20Child u4 from 10am9.209.20
Child u18m from 1pmFreeFreeChild u18m from 1pmFreeFree
Open on: 
Sat 7 December - Sun 8 December
Sat 14 December - Sun 15 December
Open times: 
See tickets
Number of Re-Creation Folk: 
50+ 'Victorians'
Amount of House open: 
Ground Floor only
  • Candlelit Carol procession
    The Candlelit Carols Procession
  • A Dickensian Christmas at Kentwell Hall
  • 'The Great Edmundo'
  • Table set for Dickensian Christmas
    Table set for Dickensian Christmas
  • The Rose and Crown Tavern
Anglian Business Green 100

All images and text © Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA