Waterloo - Activities

A selection of activities for children inspired by our Waterloo online exhibition.

Activity 1 - Cabinet Pudding

In Georgian times, desserts were a real treat and a popular one was cabinet pudding, which was sometimes also known as chancellor’s pudding. It was made with dried fruits and served with custard, a bit like the bread and butter puddings we eat today. Apparently, it was a favourite of the Duke of Wellington.

Try making some Cabinet Pudding it with the help of an adult. This reciple serves 5 or 6.


  • 2oz (57g) raisins
  • A few thin slices of bread and butter with the crusts cut off
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pint of milk
  • Sugar
  • ¼ nutmeg


  1. First grease a pudding basin with butter and line with a layer of raisins, and then nearly fill the basin with the slices of bread and butter.
  2. Then in another bowl, beat the eggs and add in the milk, sugar and grated nutmeg. Mix well and
  3. pour on to the bread.
  4. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, then tie a floured cloth or foil over the basin and boil for 1 hour
  5. Serve with custard!

Activity 2 - Wellington Boots

In the 1790s officers in the British Army wore boots called ‘Hessians’, they were made of soft, highly polished calfskin and were knee high with a curved top, similar to a riding boot, but with a ‘V’ shape and decorated with a tassel.

From the 1790s onwards there was a big fashion around for new style trousers for men, which were tightly fitted. The trouble was that the tassel on ‘Hessian’ boots, which were designed to be worn with traditional breeches, made them difficult to wear with these newly fashionable trousers.

The Duke of Wellington asked his shoemaker to make a boot which was easier to wear with the new trousers. The shoemaker removed the tassel and cut the boots lower to make them more comfortable for riding, and 'Wellington boots' were created.

Why not have a go at making your own design for your Wellington boots? Draw and outline first, then add your designs.

Boots of the Duke of Wellington
Example of boot designs made by other young people

Activity 3 - Letter writing

Look at the paintings of the Battle of Waterloo and read the information on our Waterloo online exhibition.

Imagine you are one of the soldiers and write a letter to friend or family member. How would you be feeling? What would you be missing from home?

Battle of waterloo painting