Explore the fascinating world of the Victorian judges at this award-winning historic house.

Victorian outdoor games

The Potato Race
The potato race is very amusing and can be played with balls if no potatoes are to hand. Two people compete at a time in this race to pick up potatoes. Two rows of potatoes, with a dozen in each row, are placed on the ground, about three feet apart and a basket is placed between the rows at one end. The race is to be the first to pick up the potatoes in your row with a teaspoon and deposit them in the basket without touching them with your fingers. It is difficult to get the potatoes onto the spoons and then rather a feat to run with them to the basket without dropping them on the way. If they fall off the spoon, they must be picked up again by it, without touching them with your hand as before.

Follow the Leader
Players all form a line behind the leader, who marches, halts, jumps, stoops, kicks, dances, whistles and poses in as many different ways as they feel, whilst the followers have to imitate them exactly.

Oh Great Queen/King
One player stands on a stool, box, or anything that will suffice as a throne. The other players must pass before the throne one by one. Each player stops in front of the queen/king and must say 'Oh great Queen (or King), I worship thee and bow down before thee' in a very solemn manner. The Queen then makes the most ugly faces and strange poses to make her subject laugh. Should she succeed in upsetting the gravity of her subject, the player who laughs takes on the role of the next Queen/King.

Hunt the Ring
The players form a circle, leaving one at the centre of it. A long piece of string, with a hoop (such as a curtain ring) threaded on it, is tied in a circle around the inside of the players. The players take hold of the string circle and pass the ring about from one to another. The player in the centre must guess who has the ring. His task is made as difficult as possible by all sorts of hand movements on the part of those who are hiding it in their hands. When her guesses correctly in which hand the ring is concealed, he joins the circle and the player who has been caught holding it will take his place.


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Strange But True

  • list arrowHow did Victorians try out a new invention?

    Test it on the servants of course! That's what happened in 1860 at The Judge's Lodging, when gas lighting was put into the basement and not the Judge's rooms. They wanted to see if they got sick from the fumes. The servants were fine - that's why we got the lights working again.

Historical Handy Hints