We have during August hosted a number of Textile Volunteers from as far afield as Somerset and London who spent their time conserving and caring for the amazing textile collection we have here at Muncaster Castle.

Under the guidance of Jacqui Hyman and Phillipa Turnbull the ladies worked incredibly hard working on a variety of projects.  A number of our volunteers repaired and cleaned an incredible 17th Century Tapestry, making it ready to be safely rehung and offering us an amazing opportunity to see the article up close and to learn more about how the tapestry had been originally created.

textile conservation - sorting gloves

Some other volunteers sorted through a collection of underwear, stockings and gloves from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, reminiscing about their own experiences of having to use corsets, suspender belts and stockings as well as the less glamorous winter woollies of vests and fabulous bright blue knee length woollen knickers beautifully finished off with black lace around the leg bottoms.

textile conservation - repairing tapestry

We were also able to see and learn about some amazing, possibly 19th Century clothing, discovering in the pocket of a frock coat, a pair of gloves and a small card announcing that Mr John Ramsden would like to take Lady Elizabeth Grey to dinner.  We do not know the date of this dinner, however John Ramsden died in 1914.  We believe the complete outfit including breeches, waistcoat, frockcoat, shoes and a number of other accessories belonged to John Ramsden’s maternal Grandfather, Lord Thomas Dundas.

textile conservation - repairing tapestry

Other of our volunteers created some displays that highlights the variety of items we have here at Muncaster Castle.   Showing a dazzling collection of beaded handbags, fans and gloves, intricate lace work and some unfinished embroidery work by Phyllida Gordon-Duff-Pennington, the displays can be viewed by our visitors when they visit the Castle.

Thank you so much to these wonderful ladies and particularly to Jacqui Hyman and Phillipa Turnbull who volunteered their precious time and invaluable knowledge to help us with this very important task.

We look forward to their next visit.  Thank you to all of our Textile Volunteers from the Staff of Muncaster Castle.

textile conservation - sorting underwear