Gruesome History Brought Back to Life

Newton Abbot College History students’ studies were brought to life following a visit from ‘Swords and Spindles’; a North Devon based performance company who specialise in the history of the seventeenth century.

Both Year 9 & 10 year groups were treated to costumed re-enactments of the time period. Year 9 experienced the gruesome life of a seventeenth century barber surgeon. Using realistic props, medical instruments of the time period and some willing student volunteers, the barber surgeon demonstrated some of the gnarly procedures that were popular at the time, including enemas, tooth extractions and how to deal with broken bones. 

The Barber Surgeon explained the workings of seventeenth century dentistry and how tooth extractions were carried out
The Barber Surgeon explained the workings of seventeenth century dentistry and how tooth extractions were carried out

Year 10 students met with the proprietor of King Charles II theatre group who explained the evolution of theatre design and gave students an opportunity to embrace the fashion of the age by donning white face paints and curly wigs. 

It was an eye-opening experience for our students
It was an eye-opening experience for our students

Kalie Dowling, Team Leader of History at the College, said, “The performers were excellent and extremely knowledgeable in all the peculiarities of life in the seventeenth century, providing the students with a very entertaining and informative session. It is fair to say that the reality of the often brutal methods of the time really opened their eyes to the relative luxury they enjoy today.”

Swords And Spindles Newton Abbot College Barber Surgeon Ofsted Good Secondary School 3
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