We were delighted to welcome Year 6 from the Raleigh School to West Horsley Place to see the Raleigh Bag and have a picnic in the gardens. There are strong ties between the two; not only is the school named for one of the most famous people associated with West Horsley Place, but it's located just on the edge of the estate. 

Developing relationships with local schools will be at the heart of what we do in the future. With that in mind we invited Raleigh Headteacher Mrs O'Neill to come and have a look around and explore with us ways in which we might share our heritage. 

29th October 2018 was the 400th anniversary of Sir Walter Raleigh's execution. Year 6 did a lot of learning about the great man's life around this event. At around the same time it was discovered that a red velvet bag at the Manor House may be the very one that was used to hold Sir Walter's severed head (read more about the Raleigh Bag). The outcome of our discussion with Mrs O'Neill was that we could take the bag to the school to show the children. 

Year 6 wasted no time in sending us the most wonderful formal letters (see a couple of examples of them here) requesting that the bag be brought to the school. Happily we were able to go one better and invite Year 6 here as part of their local architecture walk (which also included the beautiful St. Martin's church). 

Letter from Year 6 pupil William requesting to see the Raleigh Bag

On the day Year 6 enjoyed a picnic in our walled gardens followed by a question-led session looking at historic objects from West Horsley Place, including the Raleigh Bag, a 19th century footman's livery and a headsman's axe. A great time was had by all and the children were full of questions about WHP during Raleigh's period. Their knowledge of his life and times was very impressive. A lucky few were able to don white gloves and hold the bag themselves or try on the very heavy footman's livery. It was a pleasure to have them here and we hope it will the first visit of many.