The weekend between the first and second weeks of the course we planned a break to drive west into the beautiful Cotswolds. We met John Cunningham and Carol Frieze of Pearsall’s Embroidery for lunch and I needed to stop at Burford Needlecraft to purchase twill for the first panel of my screen. It was a delightful day. As we finished lunch, Carol suggested that we might enjoy a visit to Sudeley Castle, just outside Winchcombe.
Sudeley was once the home to Queen Catherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of Henry VIII. After the English Civil War, the castle fell into ruin. Then in 1837 Sudeley was rescued by the wealthy Worcester glove-makers, brothers John and William Dent. John Coucher Dent inherited the Castle in 1855 and his wife, Emma Brocklehurst, was a passionate collector of textiles, especially lace and embroidery. In 2007 Lady Ashcombe re-discovered a number of textile items that had been stored away and forgotten about for over 30 years in the attic of the castle. Their condition is excellent, having been away from light for such a long time.