Preschool history series. Papa Imtiaz takes Fatima on a journey of discovery to find out what life was like for a child during the Middle Ages.
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This story belongs to Fatima
and her papa, Imtiaz.
It's a tiny tale about how children,
just like you, lived in the olden days, over 800 years ago.
Now it's time for Fatima and Papa Imtiaz
to go on a journey of discovery.
Together they're going to find out
what life was like all those years ago.
-Can I play?
-Yes, you can be a brave knight.
Are you going to be a princess?
No, today I'm going to be a knight.
Do you know who used to live in castles?
Kings, queens, princes and princesses.
Yes, lots of people lived in the castle
and worked for the person who owned it.
How many real castles have you taken me to?
-Three. Do you like castles as much as I do?
I know a story about a girl called Matilda,
who lived in a castle a long time ago.
Was she a princess?
No, Matilda lived and worked in the castle with her parents.
The castle was owned by a lord.
Not a king or a queen?
No, lots of people own castles, not just kings and queens.
Matilda lived over 800 years ago in a time called the Middle Ages.
-Yes, would you like to find out about Matilda,
-castles and the Middle Ages?
Would you like to dress up just like Matilda and her papa?
Oh, yes, please.
The Middle Ages lasted for a very long time.
And, for a lot of the time, people were not happy.
Rich people fell out with other rich people
and the poor people fell out with the rich people.
Only the castles got bigger and better during this time.
The castles were home to both the rich and the poor.
Are you ready, Fatima?
-Wow, you look good.
-Thank you, but I don't look like a princess.
No, but you do look like a real little girl from a long time ago.
Would you like to dress like this every day?
No, not really. I would miss my own clothes,
but these make me comfy.
Do you like your costume?
Yeah, I love my boots.
-Shall we take a bow?
Now that Fatima and Papa Imtiaz look like people from the Middle Ages,
they're ready for their big adventure.
But where will they go?
Papa Imtiaz has brought Fatima to Mountfitchet Castle.
It looks exactly like the wooden castles
that were built in the Middle Ages.
Many old castles were built on hills,
so they could see everything around them.
Before we go inside the castle, we need to wash our money.
Why? That's silly.
Yeah, but people back in the Middle Ages, they thought money
carried germs, which it does.
So before people went inside the castle,
they needed to clean their money by washing it in vinegar.
-Vinegar cleans money.
So basically, by doing that, it kills all the germs.
And then when people go inside the castle, the disease won't spread.
-Shall we wash our money?
Nice and clean. What does it smell like?
Inside the castle was a courtyard called a bailey.
Matilda and her family would have lived
and worked in the bailey of the castle.
It looks like a small village.
Exactly, people felt safe within the castle walls.
There would've been so many people squashed into this space.
So it was a busy place then?
Very busy, not like it is today. Shall we go and have a look?
Inside the castle, they used to have gardens as well.
Maybe Matilda played in a garden like this.
Did they grow their own food?
Yeah, they grew lots of things. They had fruits and vegetables,
they even did herbs and flowers.
-Do you know what this is?
This is a lavender plant,
they used to use this for lots of different things.
What kind of things?
They used to crush the flower and make oil from it.
-Do you know used to use the oil for?
When someone got hurt or burnt they used to use it for that.
Also, some insects don't like the smell of lavender,
so they used to put the lavender inside their houses,
so the insects would stay away.
-Do you want to have a smell?
-Do you like it?
What they used to do, in the Middle Ages,
they never had any toilets like we do,
-so do you know what they used to do?
They used to have something called a Gong Farmer,
-he used to come out at night and take all the poo away.
-Disgusting, isn't it?
Because the smell was so bad,
they used to actually keep something called scented water.
And what people used to do, to keep the smell away,
they used to smell this.
This is made out of rose water and lavender.
-We like playing castles and knights, don't we?
-Yes, we do.
Well, children in the Middle Ages, like Matilda,
they used to like playing castles and knights, too.
They had wooden hobby horses and wooden swords, like this.
-Do you want to play on the hobby horse?
But, before you do, I have to knight you.
I knight you Lady Fatima, of the bailey.
Thank you, my sir.
-Do you want to get on the hobby horse?
-Thank you, my sir.
Come on, Fatima. Go, Lady Fatima of the bailey.
-Wow, look at these.
-What are these?
When you were really bad in the Middle Ages,
they used to put you inside here.
There are called stocks. You used to have to put your arms through there
and your neck through there,
which I'm not going to do.
Then, the person who was inside here, they couldn't move.
-Do you know what happened then?
People would laugh at you and they'd throw rotten fruit at you.
I know a little story about someone who was naughty,
-do you want to hear it?
Back in the Middle Ages, there was a king who was really naughty.
His name was King John. He used all his power to steal from people.
He even stole from churches, bad, isn't it?
-This made everyone upset.
Some castle owners got together and got King John to agree to some
And they wrote it down on a piece of paper.
It was called the Magna Carta. "Magna", means, great.
What King John did,
he agreed to the rules and he signed the papers as well.
-But did he behave?
Only for a little while, that's right.
Naughty King John.
During the Middle Ages, people wanted their castles to be stronger
and last forever,
so they started to build stone castles.
Papa Imtiaz has brought Fatima to Leeds Castle,
to find out how the castle owners might have lived.
One of Matilda's jobs would have been
to carry water to the castle bathroom.
-Didn't they have taps?
-I'm afraid not.
She would have had to carry water from the wells,
to where it was needed.
-Come on, shall we take it to the bathroom?
Look at the bath.
This was the lady of the castle's bathroom.
-Wow, she must have felt like a real queen.
-Yes, she must have.
What do you think of the bathroom?
It looks amazing and there's a big difference between the castle
and the houses in the bailey.
Yeah, you're right. The lords and ladies were really rich
and liked to show off their wealth.
-Do you want to go and have a look around?
-And in here, we've got a really nice, special bedroom.
Yeah. What do you think of this bedroom?
-Fabulous. I wish I had a bedroom like this one.
-Yeah, so do I.
-It's really special, isn't it?
It belonged to a queen named Eleanor. Back in the olden days,
Matilda would have helped keep this room tidy.
-Matilda was busy.
-Yes, she was.
People inside the castle had different jobs to do.
A man called a falconer had the job
of training and taming birds of prey.
-Do you want to see a tamed bird?
-Oh, yes, please.
Let's go, then.
So, Fatima, this is Enzo.
Enzo is a peregrine falcon.
Now peregrines are very special,
because they are the fastest creature in the world.
Back in the olden days, people used to use these to catch their food.
So what they'd do is, they'd send the bird off,
the bird would fly off, nice and high,
go off, catch its dinner
and then they'd get to eat that for their tea.
So would you like to see Enzo fly?
Yes, please, Mark.
-So how was that?
-It was fantastic.
It was fast, wasn't it? Now, would you like to hold an owl?
Here we have two owls that you would find in this country.
Fatima, the bird you're holding is Twiglet and Twiglet is a tawny owl.
Tawny owls can be found in the wild, in this country,
living in wooded areas.
And this one here, this is Buzz and he's a barn owl.
Again, you can find them in this country.
Again, in wooded areas, on the edge of fields.
Fatima, have you had a good time finding out
what it was like a long time ago, during the Middle Ages?
Yes, I loved finding out about Matilda and the things she did.
-Do you remember all the things that we've done?
'We got dressed up in clothes from the Middle Ages.
'We looked really good.
'We washed our money in vinegar, before entering the castle.
'We looked around the wooden castle and saw where people,
'like Matilda, would have lived.
'I discovered that they used lavender for different things.
'And it smelled really good.'
'I played at knights on the hobby horse, with a wooden sword.
'You told me about naughty King John.
'We visited a beautiful stone castle.
'We carried water up to the lady's bathroom.
'And I loved the queen's bedroom.
'We met Mark, the falconer, and his birds.
'I held the owl.'
What did you enjoy the most?
'Holding the bird, called Twiglet.'
What was your favourite bit?
I enjoyed dressing up and spending time with you.
-Shall we get changed now?
-I've loved our adventure and now it's time for...?
I love you.
What a fabulous heap of fun.
That was Fatima and Papa Imtiaz's tiny tale,
about what it was like living during the Middle Ages, over 800 years ago.
Now Papa Imtiaz has shared his story with Fatima,
it's time for Fatima to start her very own story.
Do you know someone with a story to share?
Papa Imtiaz takes Fatima on a journey of discovery to find out what life was like for a child during the Middle Ages. They also find out a little about the Magna Carta. Dressing up in clothes of the time, they find out that some children, who were not princes or princesses, lived in castles. Together, papa Imtiaz and Fatima learn about a girl called Matilda who lived within the castle grounds. They discover the type of house that Matilda may have lived in and the chores she would have to do, what happened when people were naughty and the games she would have played.