Keeper’s Gallery

1657: Rebel Christmas

It’s 1657 and Christmas is outlawed. But, inside one apothecary shop, an underground Christmas workshop is keeping the festivities alive. Step inside to join the rebel celebrations and discover centuries-old traditions that were forced to go underground in the 1600s.

Immersed in the sights and smells of a Rebel Christmas, visitors can take a seat by the fireside, smell the ingredients being mixed for traditional mince pies and graffiti their own rebellious Christmas slogans.

This free, drop-in immersive experience is open from 27 November to 4 January.

Share your posts with us on social media: #RebelChristmas

Museum Shop Sunday – 1 December, 11:00-16:00

Get into the Rebel Christmas spirit on the first Sunday of December. Pop in for free tours* of the 1657: Rebel Christmas experience, enjoy carol singing from a Christmas choir and take part in a chocolate tasting. For younger visitors, there will be face painting and a drop-in Time Travel Craft Club.

*Due to popular demand, advance booking for tours is strongly recommended.

The reading rooms and library are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Workshops and talks

Tuesday 26 November, 19:30: A Tudor Christmas, An evening with Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke, £15

Wednesday 27 November, 14:00: Wreath making with Shilpa Reddy Flower Design, £55 (bring a friend and pay just £49)

Friday 29 November, 14:00: Modern calligraphy with Quill London, £68

Friday 29 November, 14:00: Christmas at the Tudor Court, £7.50 (talk and document display)

Thursday 5 December, 19:30: Christmas in the archives (free 20 minute talk)

Thursday 12 December, 19:30: The twelve days of Christmas (free 20 minute talk)

Concessions are available for Friends of The National Archives.

Family events

Sunday 1 December, 12:00-15:00: Time Travel Craft Club (free, drop-in)

Wednesday 4 December, 10:00: Time Travel Tots (free, drop-in)

Saturday 7 December, 10:30: Christmas is cancelled…or is it?, £5 (ages 5-7)

Saturday 14 December, 10:30: Feasting through the ages, £7.50 (ages 8-11

Christmas shopping evenings

Join us for two late night shopping evenings this December. Our shop will be open until 21:00 on Thursday 5 and Thursday 12 December. From 19:00 onwards, come and enjoy mince pies and festive carolling from a live choir while you browse our shop’s Christmas range, which stocks a wide selection of gifts perfect for history lovers.

Late night shopping programme:

7.00pm – Christmas choir
7.30pm – Free 20 minute talk in the Keeper’s Gallery (5 December: Christmas in the archives, 12 December: The twelve days of Christmas)
8.00pm – Christmas choir
9.00pm – Close

Please check our Christmas opening times ahead of your visit.

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