Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Magna Carta tapestries visit Kendal before going to see the Queen

NEW Magna Carta tapestries, marking the 800th anniversary next year, will visit Kendal before featuring in celebrations involving the Queen.

In November eight tapestries, out of 12 designed and sewn by Royal embroiderer Rhoda Nevins and commemorating the sealing of the Magna Carta, will be on display at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal, South Cumbria.

The tapestry panels will be seen by thousands of people next year, including the Queen, as part of anniversary celebrations. This is the first time such a collection will visit the North West.

Rhoda Nevins, a member of the Royal School of Needlework who helped to embroider the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, was commissioned to produce the panels. Rhoda and her team are working around the clock to make sure the panels are ready in time. Work began on the first one in 2012 and the last one is due to be finished next May.

Museum manager Bridget Guest is delighted that people in the North West have a chance to see the panels ahead of a royal viewing in June 2015.

“It is lovely to have eight of the twelve tapestries here as well as Rhoda Nevins to talk about them at the launch event,” says Bridget.

“The ‘tapestries’ as we call them are actually embroidered panels made in a similar style to the museum’s own 77 Quaker Tapestry panels.”

“The panels produced by Rhoda and her team are beautifully done and this exhibition presents a rare opportunity for people in the North of England to see them at a local venue.”

“It’s also a lovely coincidence that Rhoda attended a Quaker school and her grandparents were Quakers too” adds Bridget.

The panels on show in Kendal include four dedicated to each Magna Carta Trust town: Bury St Edmunds, St Albans, Runnymede and Canterbury. A further panel depicts the shields of the 25 barons who were present at the sealing and three other panels show the involvement of the Commonwealth and British Empire countries.
Each panel is 594 x 841mm and embroidered using appliqué techniques with silk fabrics and gold threads. The Magna Carta Tapestry was commissioned by Runnymede council.

Next year’s anniversary recognises the Magna Carta as one of Britain’s most important historical documents and a symbol of national values. It provided the foundations on which British laws and principles are based.

Events to celebrate the sealing of the Magna Carta are being held throughout the world. The 15th June 2015, when the document was sealed by King John 800 years ago, is being singled out as the most significant date. The full collection will be exhibited at celebrations involving the Queen on this date.

For more details of the exhibition at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal, running from Saturday 1 to Saturday 29 November please visit

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Autumn Newsletter out Now on Issuu

In this issue of our newsletter there are details of current exhibitions, mini 3-D project, incremental price rise details, peek at our new site designs, student articles,  blogs, City & Guilds news and much more.....

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Hidden Wardrobe


1730-50s mustard yellow satin uppers and heel covers. Charles Paget Wade costume collection, stored at Berrington Hall
This blog is the wonderful idea of Ellie, who works at Berrington Hall (a national trust property).

She says of the collection; "This fabulous costume collection owes its existence to the extraordinary vision of the avid collector Charles Paget Wade. Wade harboured an obsession with the magic of objects and the power they imbue in us all to ‘inspire a thousand fancies.’

The collection comprises 2,203 objects, largely 18th and 19th century costume, with a particular bias towards menswear. The collection is unusual in that it contains items from both ends of the social strata as its collector, Charles Paget Wade, championed the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement selecting items based on his dictum ‘Colour, design and craftsmanship.’
At present the collection really is a hidden wardrobe. With no facilities for display on the horizon it remains largely hidden and in storage at Berrington Hall. The curator, Althea Mackenzie, and I hope to address this by providing access in the most modern of venues – the blogosphere!
In short the purpose of this blog is to provide:
  • Detailed colour photographs of an incredible collection
  • Showcase the collection without the damaging effects of long-term display and handling
  • Encourage and generate interest in costume history (If you have questions please ask!)
  • Indulge ourselves in all things costume"