We will be working closely with our partners to provide exciting opportunities for the public to engage with the ‘Sleeping Well in the Early Modern World’ project.

Upcoming Events

Ordsall Hall

Events for adults

Potent Midsummer Remedies: Sunday 9 June 2024 12-3pm

As we move towards Midsummer, we will be using herbs and flowers believed by early modern people to be at their most potent to help us sleep well. We will engage with historical remedy recipes from medical books, recipe collections, and journals and recreate sleep aids. With midsummer also marking the warmest part of the year, many of these remedies were aimed at cooling the body and mind or the bedchamber itself.

This longer-form workshop is intended to create the time and space to engage on a deeper level with early modern healthcare models and sleep regimes as we follow old recipes and understand them in a more holistic way. This will include content taken from the academic team at the University of Manchester but aimed at a non-academic audience keen to be involved in hands-on experimental recreation workshops and learn more about historical healthcare approaches. 

Adult workshop. Free, bookable online. Find out more here. 

Midsummer Garlands: Sunday 23 June 12-3pm

In order to celebrate Midsummer and the longest day of the year, Ordsall Hall will be marking the old Midsummer festival by decorating the hall with protective summer garlands to ward off evil spirits. This drop-in session is a chance to catch up on the Sleeping Well project at Ordsall and the University of Manchester and discuss the solstice and the effect of light nights on sleep while making our Midsummer garlands. They will be festooned with herbs and plants thought to prevent misfortune such as crop failure and disease at a time of year when people felt vulnerable. Foliage will include fennel, ferns, birch, St John’s wort, and paper lilies with the addition of sleepy flowers and herbs we have been growing at the hall.

Drop-in. Find out more here. 

Bread: Sunday 7 July 2024 12-3pm

This adult workshop will explore the use of grains for sleep, with a focus on bread. Using our outdoor oven, we will be making several types of bread and traditional oatcakes. Grains we will work with will include wheat, oats, and barley, plus poppy and flax seeds for additional texture and decoration. Loaves will include sourdough and soda bread plus oatcakes cooked on a hot stone.

This longer 3-hour session to designed to allow ample time to creative a variety of breads in our workshop space and with our outdoor oven. Recipes and historical sources are provided and there will be opportunities to engage at a closer level with historical cooking methods and approaches to sleep and healthcare through diet. 

Bookable online. Find out more here. 

Events for children


Past Events

Read more about our past events at Ordsall Hall: 


Browse the full list of events from across the University of Manchester: