Tudor May Day Celebrations | Kentwell Hall

Tudor May Day Celebrations

Sat 4 to Mon 6 May

Don't just visit - be part of the event!

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May Day was the most popular holiday in Tudor times with lots of merrymaking. It is also one of our most popular events of the year, expect processions, plays and pageantry with lots of music and dancing.

At Kentwell, we hold traditional May Day celebrations - music, dancing, plays and processions with over 150 of our costumed 'Tudors'. We have a host of activities for families to join in with - don't just visit, be part of the event.

  • Tudor May Day Celebrations - 150 Tudors about the manor, under cover and in the grounds, celebrating May Day in Tudor-style.

  • House Open - view the Hall (some rooms downstairs will contain Tudors!).

  • Gardens Open - spring bulbs and blossom festoon over 10 acres of garden, moats, ponds and woodland. Breathtaking.

  • Family Fun Trails – follow the Storybook Trail through the Gardens.

  • On the Farm - this year's lambs, chicks and piglets join the sheep, cows, pigs, goats and horses.

All of our activities will go on, whatever the weather, and your visit can certainly fill a whole day. Come early and stay for the day, there is so much to see and do - a visit to a Kentwell event really is a whole Day Out!

We'll also be serving delicious lunches, teas and snacks in our Stableyard area.

May Day

The May Day celebrations in Tudor times were pre-Christian in concept and were based upon ancient fertility rites. Everything centred upon making noise to wake-up spring so as to encourage crops to grow. In addition most of the activities had an underlying fertility theme.

Kentwell Tudors over May Day Weekend

Our event is based at the Barns Sward on the Farm to create a village atmosphere.

Every day of the weekend there are processions - bringing in the tree, usually led by a Jack O'Green, covered in Greenery, and processing the May Queen (selected from one of the young girls on the manor).

Traditional Mummers' plays of the time are performed (in which good always ultimately overcomes evil!). There is much music and dance as well as revelry and ribaldry.

As well as the Tudors at the Barns area, there are also Tudors at the main House: Cooks, Retainers & Gentry; and also the Dairy, Bakehouse, Stillroom & Needlewomen.

This year we expect to have over 150 of our Tudors taking part. Come early and spend the day at Kentwell and enjoy all the fun.


Please do not think that Kentwell is just a fair weather visit - we carry on whatever the weather. There will be indoor activities and some of our outdoor activities can be moved inside if the weather fails us.

House, Garden & Farm

House, Gardens & Farm will all be fully open this weekend.

How long to spend?

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


We shall be be serving homemade lunches and teas in the Stableyard Restaurant.

There is a picnic site by the Main Gates, with a marvellous view of the house, however we do not allow picnics inside the grounds.

Tickets and Prices

Special Prices apply for this weekend - please see below. HHA visitors do not enjoy free entry during this weekend.

You don't have to buy tickets in advance and can usually be sure of buying tickets on entry.

No dogs are allowed within the grounds.

Please note: on-line tickets must be booked before 9am on the day of your visit. You can buy tickets at the gate from 11am to 2.30pm

Ticket Prices

TicketOn-the-day PriceOnline Price - must be booked by 9.30 on the day of your visit
Adult Ticket - May Day Celebrations18.5017.50
Senior Ticket May Day Celebrations18.0017.00
Child Ticket (5-15yrs) May Day Celebrations14.5013.50
Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children)65.0060.00
Open on: 
Sat 4 May - Mon 6 May
Open times: 
11am - 5pm
Number of Re-Creation Folk: 
150+ Tudors
Amount of House open: 
  • Hall and Gardens during a Re-Creation of Tudor Life
  • Gentry Singing at Great Annual Re-Creation
  • May Day Procession
  • Tudor High Summer
  • May Day Procession
  • Tudor Parade
Anglian Business Green 100

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