Due to the generosity of our pioneering families our Textile Department has a large range of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and household items dating from late 1700 to the present day. Fine needlework, hats, accessories and much more make up this large and significant collection.

The textile team of volunteers take every care to make sure that these treasures are kept in optimum conditions according to modern day conservation practices.

Constantly Changing Displays

Displays are constantly being changed to show the best, most interesting or relevant items for the display project. Fragile items can only be exposed to light for a limited time hence the need for constant change.

The storage drawers are full of intricate pieces of embroidery from the days before television when women spent their evenings creating wonderful laces and trims to adorn beautiful dresses and gowns, and embellishing household linen items for every day and special occasion use.

Intricate Embroidery & Textiles

In another storage area are items of clothing comprising the “under cover story”. These are so different from the garments worn today, a reminder of customs and clothing of yesteryear, such as trousseau or glory box items for example.

This significant textile collection can be viewed by arrangement.  If you and a group of friends, or your special interest group are interested in visiting the textile department and having a hosted tour please contact the Manager/Curator at least 2 weeks before you and your group would like to visit. You could either use the Groups & Tours Booking Form or you could contact the Manager from our Contact Us page. Which ever method you choose, we will be delighted to hear from you.