Booklet: History Around Us

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  • Thomas Cromwell

    Henry VIII's principal minister from 1531 to 1540. He rose to power through Anne Boleyn then held on to it by arranging her downfall.

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  • Torquay Museum

    A typical 19th century museum. Founded in 1844 to house the prehistoric objects found in Kents Cavern nearby and still owned by a private society, it has recently been refurbished with the aid of a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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  • Houses of the Beacon, Exmouth

    Begun in 1792 these houses are typical of the modest regularity and comfort associated with the Regency period. Originally they presented a uniform appearance but time and a fall in status have resulted in many alterations. By comparing their original appearance with their appearance now, children can identify and chart these changes.

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  • Life in a longhouse

    The houses were divided by a cross passage. To the right, screened off, was the family living space with a central hearth. Beyond that, also screened, lay an inner room for sleeping. To the left of the passage the cattle were tethered to posts driven into the earthen floor in an area known locally as a shippon. A drain lined with stones carried waste out through a hole in the end wall.

    The thatched roofs came very close to the ground with few, if any, small windows. The stone walls were probably plastered internally and weatherproofed externally with cob. Smoke from the hearth escaped through the eaves. What furniture there was would have been very simple: benches round the hearth and perhaps a bedstead in the sleeping area.

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