Early Modern Dress & Textile Research Network spacer image



Selection of museums and historic houses with dress, textile, or furnishing collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland, arranged geographically. Relevant bibliography is listed under each collection.





Fashion Museum (formerly known as the Museum of Costume)
Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, BA1 2QH
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 477173
Email: fashion_bookings@bathnes.gov.uk


The collection includes examples of: menswear, womenswear, accessories, dresses, coats, jackets, corsets, knitwear, fashion photographs, pockets, shirts, blouses, waistcoats, fans. The earliest pieces in the collection are embroidered shirts and gloves from about 1600. The most up-to-date pieces in the collection are summer dresses from 2007.

An online searchable collections database is available:


Burman, B. and Denbo, S. 2006. Pockets of History: the Secret Life of an Everyday Object, Bath Museum of Costume.

Byrde, P. and Mines, M. 1980. Museum of Costume. Bath, Bath City Council.


St Dominick, nr Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6TA
Tel: 01579 351346


Tudor house with collections of textiles, armour and furniture.



Hardwick Hall
Doe Lea, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S44 5QJ
Tel: 01246 850430
Email: hardwickhall@nationaltrust.org.uk


Built by Bess of Harwick and home to Europe's finest collection of 16th- and 17th-century embroideries and tapestries.


Allgrove McDowell, J. 1988. The textiles at Hardwick Hall (article in two parts), Hali Magazine, 39 & 40.

Jourdain, M. 1927. Needlework at Hardwick, Country Life, 26 February 1927.

Jourdain, M. 1927. Some tapestries at Hardwick Hall, Country Life, 26 March 1927.

Levey, S. M. 1998. An Elizabethan Inheritance: The Hardwick Hall Textiles. London, National Trust.

Levey, S. M. 2000. Bess of Hardwick Hall and her household stuffe, Piecework, 8(1), 22-27.

Levey, S. M. and Thornton, P. 2001. Of Household Stuff: The 1601 Inventories of Bess of Hardwick. London, National Trust.

Nevinson, J. L. 1973. Stitched for Bess of Hardwick: embroideries at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, Country Life, 29 November 1973.

Nevinson, J. L. 1975-6. An Elizabethan herbarium: embroideries by Bess of Hardwick after the woodcuts of Mattioli, National Trust Year Book.

Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3LE
Tel: 01392 881345
Email: killerton@nationaltrust.org.uk


Home to the 'Paulise de Bush' costume collection, containing over 9,000 outfits of the 18th to 20th century.


Ashelford, J. 1997. The art of dress: an introduction to the National Trust's costume collection. In: K. Marko, ed. Textiles in Trust, London, Archetype & National Trust, 81-87.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM)
Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3RX
Tel: 01392 665858
Email: ramm@exeter.gov.uk


The collection of the former Rougemont House Museum of Costume and Lace is now part of the RAMM collection.
The costume collection is in storage while the museum is closed for re-development between 1 December 2007 and spring 2010.



Bowes Museum
Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP
Tel: 01833 690606
Email: info@thebowesmuseum.org.uk


Home to one of the largest and most significant European dress and textile collections in Britain. The collection contains examples of all textile techniques and all the European centres of production, from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. These include tapestries and upholstery textiles (17th to 19th century), ecclesiastical embroidery (15th to 18th century), and costume and accessories (late 18th to 20th century), as well as carpets, woven textiles and lace. 
The Museum is in the process of creating a new Textile and Dress Gallery to open in Spring 2009. In the meantime there is a small selection of textiles on display in The Streatlam Galleries on the ground floor of the Museum.


Hashagen, J. and Levey, S. M. 2006. Fine & Fashionable: Lace from the Blackborne Collection. Barnard Castle, Bowes Museum.



Hampshire Museums Service
Chilcomb House, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RD
Tel: 0845 603 5635


Extensive collections on the archaeology, history, art and environment of the county are on display in various museums, and also held in reserve at stores in Winchester. The Historic Dress and Textiles Collections include the following: embroideries from the 17th century and dress and accessories from the 18th century onwards - women's late 19th and 20th century clothes are particularly well represented as are christening gowns, patchwork quilts, samplers, smocks and fashion plates. Textiles explore the range of fabrics and designs and methods of decoration for both clothing and domestic furnishings.

Searchable online databases are available for some parts of the costume collection.

Collections Page (overview):

Boots and Shoes Collections:

Bags and Purses Collection:




Berrington Hall
nr Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DW
Tel: 01568 615721


The Wade Costume Collection, previously housed at Snowshill Manor, is now housed at Berrington Hall. Not all of the costume collection is displayed, but can be viewed by appointment (please write to the property).


Ashelford, J. 1997. The art of dress: an introduction to the National Trust's costume collection. In: K. Marko, ed. Textiles in Trust, London, Archetype & National Trust, 81-87.

Mackenzie, A. 2004. Hats and Bonnets from Snowshill, one of the World's Leading Collections of Costume and Accessories of the 18th and 19th Centuries. London, National Trust


Kent Costume Trust

The Kent Costume Trust was formed in 1983 to promote all aspects of costume, costume accessories, and associated textiles, to educate and encourage further knowledge regarding all aspects of costume. The Trust aims to assemble a collection that is both maintained and promoted within Kent. The Trust's collection now has more than 1000 items, spanning many centuries.


Gawthorpe Hall
Padiham, nr Burnley, Lancashire, BB12 8UA
Tel: 01282 771004
Email: gawthorpehall@nationaltrust.org.uk


Several rooms display part of the international collection of needlework, lace and costume.



Temple Newsam
Temple Newsam Road, off Selby Road, Leeds, LS15 0AE
Tel: 0113 264 5535
Email: temple.newsam@leeds.gov.uk


The Temple Newsam collection of textiles consists of both furnishing fabrics and upholstered furniture, some of which is indigenous to the house. The museum also houses The Roger Warner Collection of historic textiles, which includes furnishing and dress fabrics from the 17th to the early 20th century.


Bower, H. 2000. Textiles at TempleNewsam: The Roger Warner Collection. Leeds, Leeds Art Collections Fund for Leeds Museums and Galleries.



National Museums Liverpool
127 Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2JH
Tel: 0151 207 0001


Holdings include collections of costume and textiles.


Brooke, X. 1992. The LadyLeverArtGallery: Catalogue of Embroideries. Stroud, Alan Sutton & National Galleries and Museums on Merseyside.

Rushton, P. 1999. 18th Century Costume in the NationalMuseums and Galleries on Merseyside. Liverpool, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside.



British Museum
Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7323 8000/8299
Email: information@britishmuseum.org


Department of Prehistory and Europe:

The British Museum's collection of seven million objects is worldwide in origin and is intended for use by the citizens of the world. The Museum collaborates on exhibitions, skills-sharing, and research with many international partners. These partnerships bring new insights into the collection, and help create new understandings of our changing world.
The Department of Prehistory and Europe is responsible for collections that cover a vast expanse of time from the earliest human tools in Africa and Asia two million years ago to the art and archaeology of Europe from the earliest times to the present day, including the history of Britain under Roman occupation. The Department currently has eleven galleries displaying highlights from its collections. As well as exhibitions, we are involved in a wide range of research, excavations and publications and also actively communicate with the public through radio and television programmes and the new media.

An online searchable collections database is available:


Fan Museum
12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London. SE10 8ER
Tel: 0208-305 1441
Tel: 0208-293 1889


The Fan Museum is devoted entirely to every aspect of fans and fan making.  The Museum is home to a collection of more than 3,500 predominantly antique fans from around the world dating from the 11th century to the present day.  Its collection and fans on loan from other collections are displayed in changing themed exhibitions in which fans are presented in their historical, sociological and economic contexts.  



Geffrye Museum
Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA
Tel: 020 7739 9893


The Geffrye Museum depicts the quintessential style of English middle-class living rooms. Its collections of furniture, textiles, paintings and decorative arts are displayed in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day.

A virtual tour of the museum is available:

Ham House
Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, TW10 7RS
Tel: 020 8940 1950
Email: hamhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk


Ham House is an unusually complete survival of the 17th century, with an important collection of textiles and furniture.


Rowell, C. 1996. A seventeenth-century 'cabinet' restored: the Green Closet at Ham House, Apollo, 143, 18-23.

Thornton, P. and Tomlin, M. 1980. The Furnishing and Decoration of Ham House. London, Furniture History Society.


Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX
Tel: 0844 482 7777 (from UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 6000 (from outside the UK)
Email: kensingtonpalace@hrp.org.uk



KewPalace and Queen Charlotte's Cottage
Tel: 0844 482 7777 (from UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 6000 (from outside the UK)



Museum of London
150 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN
Tel: 020 7001 9844


The dress collection is internationally recognised for its quality and diversity - it was collected as a social record and accorded the same historical significance as other artefacts of material culture. There are over 24,000 objects in the collection, dating from the Tudor period to the present day. The core of the collection consists of fashionable dress and accessories. Holdings also include textiles manufactured in London, such as silks woven in Spitalfields and printed textiles.
The costume collection is complemented by holdings of related material in the social and working history, photograph and printed ephemera collections and the library. The Harry Matthews Collection of costume and fashion plates consists of almost 4,000 prints dating from the 16th century to 1829.
The Cheapside Hoard is the greatest hoard of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery in the world.
Of similar national importance is the collection of base metal dress accessories.
Museum of London is undergoing a major redevelopment and the galleries stop at 1666, with the exception of objects in temporary exhibitions. The Costume Store is now closed to visitors and researchers until Spring 2009 for a major storage installation project. Please contact the Later London history department on 020 7814 5750, for further information and visits after the dress and textile collection re-opens.


Halls, Z. 1969. Women's Costumes 1600-1750. London, H.M.S.O.

Halls, Z. 1970. Men's Costume 1580-1750. London, H.M.S.O.

Halls, Z. 1972. Women's Costume 1600-1750. London, H.M.S.O.

National Maritime Museum (Rank and Style Gallery)
Romney Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF

Rank and Style Gallery:

The National Maritime Museum comprises three sites: the Maritime Galleries, the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House. Together these constitute one museum working to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. The Rank and Style Gallery (in the Maritime Galleries) presents a variety of naval dress and ceremonial costumes arranged thematically.


Royal Armouries
HM Tower Of London, London, EC3N 4AB
Tel: 020 3166 6660 (general enquiries)


Royal Armouries has collections in other parts of the UK and in the USA:

The Royal Armouries collection consists of some 70,000 examples of arms, armour and artillery dating from antiquity to the present day. It includes royal armours of the Tudor and Stuart kings; arms and armour of the English Civil Wars, including the Armoury from Littlecote House; British and foreign military weapons from the Board of Ordnance and Ministry of Defence Pattern Room collections; hunting and sporting weapons, as well as an exceptional collection of oriental arms and armour. The Royal Armouries also has a significant collection of fine and decorative arts, and a special collection of material relating to the Tower of London, including antique prints and drawings, paintings, early photographs, stereoscopes and lantern slides, and rare books.
Britain’s oldest museum has grown from its origins as the main royal and national arsenal at the Tower of London into a family of museums located throughout the United Kingdom and in North America.

An online searchable database is available:


Royal Collection

Shaped by the personal tastes of kings and queens over more than 500 years, the Royal Collection includes paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, ceramics, clocks, silver, sculpture, jewellery, books, manuscripts, prints and maps, arms and armour, fans, and textiles. It is on public display at the principal royal residences and is shown in a programme of special exhibitions and through loans to institutions around the world. 

An online catalogue of selected objects from the collection is available, including textiles, fans, jewellery, furniture, books and bindings:


Victoria and Albert Museum
South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000 (Reception)


Textiles and Fashion Department
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2682 (Textiles and Fashion)>
Email: textilesandfashion@vam.ac.uk

Textiles: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/textiles/index.html
Fashion, Jewellery and Accessories: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/index.html

Theatre Collections
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7942 2723
Email: tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk

Theatre & Performance: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/theatre_performance/

The Victoria and Albert Museum has collected dress since its earliest days. The collection covers fashionable dress from the 17th century to the present day, with the emphasis on progressive and
influential designs from the major fashion centres of Europe. The V&A collections also include accessories such as jewellery, gloves and handbags.
The national collection of Textiles covers a period of more than 2000 years. It has a broad geographic range with a particular emphasis on Europe. Most techniques are represented, including woven, printed and embroidered textiles, lace, tapestries and carpets. These are classified by technique, countries of origin and dates of production. Particularly rich areas of the collections are the early silks from the Near East, lace, European tapestries and English medieval church embroidery.

Online searchable collections database:


Arnold, J. 1969. A pink silk domino c.1760-70 from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Costume, 3.

Arnold, J. 1973. Sir Richard Cotton's suit, Burlington Magazine, CXV(May), 326-329.

Browne, C. 2004. Lace from the Victoria and AlbertMuseum. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Campbell, T. P. 2004. New evidence on "Triumphs of Petrarch" tapestries in the early sixteenth century. Part II: the English court, Burlington Magazine, 146, 602-608.

Gibbs-Smith, C. H. 1936. Costume. An index to the more important material in the library, with annotations & shelf-marks, together with a guide to other documentary material in the Museum. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hart, A. and North, S. 1998. Historical Fashion in Detail: the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hefford, W. 1992. The Victoria and AlbertMuseum's Textile Collection: Design for Printed Textiles in England from 1750 to 1850. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hillyer, L., Gentle, N. and Balfour, D. 2000. The reassembly of a seventeenth-century state bed, The Conservator, 24, 3-14.

Irwin, J. and Brett, K. B. 1970. Origins of Chintz: with a Catalogue of Indo-European Cotton-Paintings in the Victoria and AlbertMuseum, London, and the RoyalOntarioMuseum, Toronto. London, H.M.S.O.

King, D. and Levey, S. M. 1993. The Victoria and AlbertMuseum's Textile Collection: Embroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Kite, M. and Cogram, A. 2006. Re-evaluation and retreatment: the reconservation and remounting of an English court mantua, Studies in Conservation, 51(2).

Levey, S. M. 1972. An Elizabethan embroidered cover, Victoria and Albert Museum Year Book, 76-86.

Maclagan, E. R. D., Trendell, P. G. and Van De Put, A. 1930. Catalogue of English Ecclesiastical Embroideries of the XIII to XVI Centuries. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Murdoch, T. 2002. Fit for a king: the state bed from Melville House, Fife, Apollo, 155, 3-9.

Nevinson, J. L. 1934. Men's costume in the Isham Collection, Connoisseur, XCIV, 313-320.

Nevinson, J. L. 1938. Catalogue of the English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. London, H.M.S.O.

Rock, D. 1870. Textile Fabrics: a Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Church-Vestments, Dresses, Silk Stuffs, Needlework and Tapestries, Forming that Section of the Museum. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Rosseau, B. 2005. Early-seventeenth-century English embroidered jackets, Piecework, 13(1), 30-34.

Rothstein, N. 1994. The Victoria and AlbertMuseum's Textile Collection: Woven Textile Design in Britain from 1750 to 1850. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Rothstein, N. 1994. The Victoria and AlbertMuseum's Textile Collection: Woven Textile Design in Britain to 1750. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Rothstein, N., ed. 1999. Four Hundred Years of Fashion. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Snodin, M. and Styles, J. 2001. Design and the Decorative Arts: Britain 1500-1900. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Wingfield Digby, G. 1980. The Tapestry Collection: Medieval and Renaissance. London, Victoria and Albert Museum



Gallery of Costume
Platt Hall, Rusholme, Manchester, M14 5LL
Tel: +44(0)161 224 5217
Email: galleryofcostume@manchester.gov.uk


The Gallery of Costume holds one of the largest collections of clothing and fashion accessories in Britain, containing over 20,000 items. The collection includes clothes worn by men, women and children from the 17th century to the present day. Many of the clothes represent high fashion of the day. Other, much rarer items, represent the dress of working people, such as the clogs and shawls of Lancashire weavers.

Currently closed to the public and to researchers because of major building work. The gallery will reopen early in 2010.
The gallery has an extensive collection of fashion journals and periodicals available for research, which can be accessed via its website.

A searchable collections database is available online:


---. 1954. Women's Costume in the Eighteenth Century. Manchester, Manchester City Art Galleries.


Whitworth Art Gallery
Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER


The Whitworth's collection of historic and modern textiles is the largest and most comprehensive collection of flat textiles outside London. It comprises 15,000 to 20, 000 items ranging in date from the 3rd century AD to the present day.

Some textiles can be viewed online:



Blickling Hall
Blickling, Norwich, Norfolk, NR11 6NF
Tel: 01263 738030


Houses an important collection of tapestries.


Costume and Textile Study Centre
Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service
Carrow House, 301 King Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 2TS
Tel: 01603 223870
Email: museums@norfolk.gov.uk


The Costume and Textile Study Centre collects, preserves, and provides access to its collection of British clothing, accessories, needlecrafts and home furnishings dating from the 18th century to the present day. For the first time the entire collection of over 20,000 items is accessible to the public.

Related research material is available including a wide selection of fashion and women’s magazines, craft magazines and journals, trade and exhibition catalogues, and specialist costume and textile society publications.

Also available for use as an additional resource are collections of fashion plates, photographs dating from the mid 19th century, knitting, crochet and dressmaking patterns and pattern books, embroidery patterns, line drawings of dresses and shoes in the collection and the museum’s collection of picture references.
Carrow House is currently closed due to building works. Please call 01603 493625 for more information.

An online searchable database of the collections of Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service is available:



Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2PH
Tel: 01865 278000


Holds an important collection of English 16th and 17th century embroideries.


Brooks, M. M. 2004. English Embroideries of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum. London, Ashmolean Museum in association with Jonathan Horne Publications.



Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
Bethesda Street, Cultural Quarter, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 3DW
Tel: 01782 232323
E-mail: museums@stoke.gov.uk


Holds a regionally important collection of costume and textiles dating from the 15th Century to the present day.

An online search facility is available:



Chertsey Museum
The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8AT
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 565764
Email: enquiries@chertseymuseum.org.uk


The collection contains over 4,000 men’s, women’s and children’s fashionable clothes dating from c.1700 to the present. Holdings also include many small decorative accessories, such as shoe buckles, beadwork purses, lace work and embroidery.
Academic researchers and students wishing to consult items from the reserve collection or use the costume library facilities are welcome to do so by prior appointment.


Evans, G. 2008. Marriage à la mode, an eighteenth-century wedding dress, hat and shoes set from the Olive Matthews Collection, Chertsey Museum, Costume, 42, 50-65.

Rowley, C. 1976. Costume in ChertseyMuseum, 1700-1800, Chertsey Museum.

Hampton Court Palace
Surrey, KT8 9AU
Tel: 0844 482 7777 (from UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 6000 (from outside the UK)
Email: hamptoncourt@hrp.org.uk



---. 1994. HamptonCourtPalace: King's Apartments: Souvenir Guide. London, Hampton Court Palace.

Band, J. 1994. The Hampton Court fire: the conservation of the damaged textiles, Apollo, 140 (Special Edition), 46-49.

Campbell, T. P. 1994. William III and "The Triumph of Lust" - the tapestries hung in the King's State Apartments in 1699, Apollo, 140 (Special Edition), 22-31.

Marillier, H. C. 1962. The Tapestries at HamptonCourtPalace. London, H.M.S.O.

Textiles Collection, University for the Creative Arts at Farnham
Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7DS


The collection of world textiles at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham has supported the practical study of woven and printed textiles for over forty years. The Textiles Collection aims to provide real examples that demonstrate the application of a broad range of textile techniques and processes - encouraging students to handle textiles, to respond to their qualities, and to question and analyse them as a primary source. The collection consists of over 3,000 artefacts ranging in date from Coptic textiles c. 800-1000 AD through to Scandinavian furnishing fabrics c.1950-1990. The collection can be searched and browsed via the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) website.

Online collections database at VADS:


Brighton and Hove Museums
Royal Pavilion, Libraries & Museums, 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 03000 290900
Email: museums@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Costume and Textile Collection:

Decorative Arts Collection:

The Costume collection includes items of men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories from the early 17th century to the present day. The textile collection includes holdings of needlework from the mid 17th century, and includes 18th and 19th samplers.
The Decorative Art collections can be found throughout Brighton and Hove’s museums. The contents of Preston Manor, a historic house, include the Macquoid Bequest of 16th and 17th century furniture. Jewellery is also part of the Decorative Art collections.

Online searchable collections database:


Fairfax House
Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
Tel: +44 (0)1904 655 543
Email: info@fairfaxhouse.co.uk


Fairfax House, situated in the heart of York, is a Georgian townhouse displaying an important collection of eighteenth-century English furniture.

A virtual tour is available:

Embroiderers’ Guild Museum
Apt 41 Hampton Court Palace, Surrey KT8 9AU
Tel: 020 8943 1229
Email: administrator@embroiderersguild.com


The Embroiderers' Guild Museum houses a collection of over 11,000 embroidered objects. The embroideries in the collection have been gathered from around the world, and take many forms including costume, furnishings, decorative and non-functional textiles. A particular strength of the collection is the holding of embroidery worked in Britain from the 16th century to the present day.


Johnstone, P. 1986. Three Hundred Years of Embroidery 1600-1900: Treasures from the Collection of the Embroiderers' Guild of Great Britain. Netley, South Australia, Wakefield Press.


Northern Ireland



Armagh County Museum
The Mall East, Armagh, Northern Ireland, BT61 9BE
Tel: +44 (0)28 3752 3070


The costume collection ranges in date from the 18th century to the present day, and includes women’s, men’s and children’s costume. The collection of accessories includes items such as muffs, furs, purses, fans and bags.



Springhill Manor
20 Springhill Road, Moneymore, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, BT45 7NQ
Tel: 028 8674 8210
Email: springhill@nationaltrust.org.uk


Houses a significant costume collection ranging in date from the 18th to the 20th century.


Ashelford, J. 1997. The art of dress: an introduction to the National Trust's costume collection. In: K. Marko, ed. Textiles in Trust, London, Archetype & National Trust, 81-87.

Doré, J. 1997. The costume collections at Springhill Manor and the Ellen Terry Museum, Smallhythe Place: their care and conservation. In: K. Marko, ed. Textiles in Trust, London, Archetype & National Trust, 88-95.

Doré, J. 1997. Worn at court: the Clanwilliam court mantua at Springhill, Apollo, 145, 24-27.



Ulster Museum
The UlsterMuseum is closed until 2009 for major redevelopment.
Until further notice, contact details are as follows:
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Holywood, County Down, BT18 0EU
Tel: +44 (0)28 9042 8428

Staff email addresses are listed on the website:

The Ulster Museum's collection of fashionable dress is just over twenty-five years old, recreated after the former collection was destroyed in the fire following the bombing of the building in which it was then stored. The present collection includes fashionable dress ranging in date from the early eighteenth century to the present day. Holdings also include extensive collections of all accessories – e.g. hats, shoes, gloves, belts, fans.
The textiles collection ranges in date from the eighteenth century to the present day. It is a new collection, since the former collection, apart from the eighteenth century tapestries and the 'Lennox Quilt' (1712), was destroyed in the fire following the bombing of the house in which it was then stored. Holdings include: tapestries, lace, embroidery, printed textiles, linen damask and domestic linen.


Republic of Ireland



National Museum of Ireland
(four sites – see website for details)
Tel: +353 1 6777444


The costume collection consists of 2,000 items, comprising mainly Irish and English costumes (mostly female) from the 18th century to the present. There are also examples of religious vestments, court dress, legal and academic robes, and ephemera relevant to the design, production, marketing and consumption of Irish designed/manufactured clothing.
The costume accessories collection consists of approximately 1,600 items including hats, shoes, shoe-buckles, parasols and fans.
The jewellery collection contains items dating from the 18th to the 20th century - mostly good quality costume jewellery.
The textiles and soft furnishings collection comprises carpets (mainly Irish-made), tapestries, curtains, embroideries, sampler quilts, fabric fragments and lengths, equipment, pattern designs, and sample books relating to mainly Irish textile production.




Blairs Museum
Aberdeen, Scotland, AB12 5YQ
Tel: 01224 863 767
Email: manager@blairsmuseum.com


Blairs Museum holds a major collection of church textiles spanning more than 500 years, with some rare examples of church embroidery surviving from the 15th and 16th centuries. The collection of hand-embroidered vestments demonstrates a wide range of ceremonial clothing worn by the Catholic clergy during worship.



National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Tel: 0131 225 7534


Collections include costume and textiles (from prehistory to the present day).

An online searchable collections database is available:


Tarrant, N. E. A. 2001. Textile Treasures: an Introduction to European Decorative Textiles for Home and Church in the National Museums of Scotland. Edinburgh, National Museums of Scotland.



Glasgow Museums
Culture and Sport Glasgow, 20 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5ES
Tel: 0141 287 4350
Email: museums@csglasgow.org


Collections include major holdings of Scottish, English and European costume and textiles including: tapestry (14th to 17th century); woven, printed and embroidered textiles and needlework (16th century to present); furniture, furnishing fabrics and carpets (14th century to present).

A searchable online collections database is forthcoming:


---. 1983. The Burrell Collection. London & Glasgow, Collins & Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries.

---. 1987. GlasgowArtGallery and Museum: The Building and the Collections. London & Glasgow, Collins & Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries.

Arthur, L. 1995. Embroidery 1600-1700 at the Burrell Collection. London, Murray & Glasgow Museums.





St Fagans National History Museum

Cardiff, CF5 6XB
Tel: (029) 2057 3500



The furnishing collections include a comprehensive range of interior fixtures, furniture, and furnishing fabrics ranging in date from the 16th century to the present day. Clothing from the same period is also collected, both fashionable and everyday wear, official uniforms and occupational dress. Also included are accessories of all types and items of personal use. A study collection has been compiled for use by students and specialised school groups.


Arnold, J. 1972. A silver embroidered court mantua and petticoat of c.1740 from the Welsh Folk Museum, Cardiff, Costume, 6.



AHRC logoUniversity of Southampton logoV&A logoQueen Mary, University of London logo