Friday, 1 August 2014

Gawthorpe Hall visit

How odd - was sure I'd already posted this but I must have left it in draft form after visiting it recently !

This dignified National Trust property, whose foundation stone was laid in August 1600, is the most homely of any of the NT houses I've seen. It's also only ever had one remodelling after being built too and that was in the mid 1800s.
It has been in the Shuttleworth family since being built and it was passed to the care of the NT, I think they said in the 1960s.
It holds the Hon. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Textiles Collection which was far smaller than I'd imagined but had some stunning pieces in it!

Since there are currently a batch of important paintings on display,
on loan from one of our national art galleries,
no taking of photographs inside was allowed ~ cough ...... cough ....
however, I didn't want to photograph the paintings - so shhh : )

The Kay-Shuttleworth insignia on the front door, which was echoed elsewhere within ceiling plasterwork.

In this display was one of the finest, as in thinest,
pieces of lace I've ever seen!
Called Binche lace from Belgium,
a piece of C17th lace,
the 4th down sample on the right was exquisite!
Found this online which gives you an idea of its fineness.
There was some beautiful C18th Mechlin lace too

Doubt enlarging the pic will show much but that bonnet was edged with the most beautiful lace too.
I was stealthily using my phone and proved how useless I would be as a spy!
This was supposedly the Hon ladies sewing room, with her desk choc full of vintage sewing accessories. At the front left edge of the desk was a vintage piece of extended hexi piecing which I would have loved to turn over to see if the papers were still in! The hexis were perhaps
and inch long thatas all.
Now the next took my breath away and I think they were half inch hexis, many of them fussy cut.
dated 1930-40

And then there was the most amazing coverlet, made out of uniform pieces, by Sgt John Hall of the Staffordshire regiment when he was stationed in Hong Kong from 1850-80.
Mind blowing!
pic taken from above link

again half inch squares and no paper evident, hand stitched and the back was almost as interesting as the front!

Now on that same link but not on show today is this-
Would have loved to see this and I adore the hexi layout here, what fun you could have with selective colour choices !


Items in the display have inspired others to design patterns you might like to see

This above cover was on one of the beds, far less elaborate than what was on the Honorable lady Rachel's bed, which was richly embroidered but I couldn't manage a photo of that lol


  1. So glad you were able to sneak about and get us some photos. The fineness of that lace is amazing, as are the hexxie pieces. Now you'd better crack on with yours after seeing all this inspiration.

  2. Mike and I visited Gawthorpe Hall earlier this summer and I was slightly disappointed. I heard they had an extensive collection but most is in storage. I loved the quilt pieced from the uniforms but felt the restrictions on photos was a bit much. I turned off my phone flash and used it too like you. It might have been better if they had some kind of leaflet or book about the collection. Apparently it is possible to book a session with the curator for a group visit and see more.

  3. Thanks for the virtual tool Agent 007! Gawthorpe Hall looks like a wonderful place to visit!