I absolutely love learning about royal fashion. They not only tell clothes, but also stories about politics, society and the people themselves. We have many remnants of our youngest monarchs, pieces that have been kept and preserved. Many royal garments are kept in the shops of the historic royal palaces and are often brought out to be seen, explored and enjoyed naturally. So it's very special when a brand new discovery is made, and that's exactly what happened in 2016 when HRP curator Eleri Lynn visited a small church in the village of Bacton and made an amazing discovery.
For centuries, the Bacton altar cloth had a high profile in St. Faith's Church in Bacton, Herefordshire. The beautiful, richly embroidered cloth sat first on the altar and later in a frame on the wall of the church. Members of the village and the small church community knew it was something very special. The fine details and the beautiful fabric were of exceptional quality and craftsmanship. However, no one realized how special it really was. The cloth had long been associated with Blanche Parry, who was one of Queen Elizabeth's most faithful servants. Born and raised in Bacton, she spends most of her life on Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth regularly gave Blanche Parry her old clothes, so there was always speculation that the Bacton Altar Cloth was somehow linked to Elizabeth by Blanche.
The cloth remained in the church for many years, although it was preserved locally at the beginning of the 20th century. The condition began to deteriorate and there was a danger that it would be lost forever. Blanche's biographer Ruth E. Richardson championed the importance and rarity of the material and theorized the connections to Elizabeth. When Eleri Lynn heard about the material, she knew she had to see it for herself. It was she who discovered signs of patterns in the fabric investigation that confirmed it was a court garment and had once been part of a skirt.
This discovery secured the future safety of the substance and was relocated to Hampton Court to take on the tedious task of keeping it for future generations. It took 3 years for the cloth to be fully explored and preserved and presented to the public.
In October, I was invited to the palace to see the cloth in all its glory and learn all about its story of Eleri Lynn and Libby Thompson, who worked as restorers to carefully restore the piece. It was wonderful to hear their experiences, from the discovery of the material to the learning of the story and the techniques that make up the story.
The cloth is now beautifully displayed alongside a stunning original portrait of Elizabeth. The legendary Rainbow Portrait was given to the palace by Hatfield House. In the portrait, Elizabeth is seen in a dress that closely resembles the beautiful fabric. It's amazing to see them together and get a feel for how the cloth was once used and worn.
The display also provides a fascinating background for the cloth. There are a few books with designs and embroidery patterns that inspired the fine handcrafting on the fabric, as well as beautiful examples of embroidery in a similar style of the time. ,
One of the most interesting things for me were two examples of embroidery that were created by the Royal School of Needlework using stitches that were discovered on the fabric. This really shows us how fine the handicrafts were that adorned this fabulous piece of clothing.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjai9PoRMo8 (/ embed)
I would definitely recommend Hampton Court to pay a visit while the clothing is on display. I could spend hours looking at all the intricate embroidery and taking in all the little flowers and animals that were immortalized in the engravings. It's such a rare survival that we'll probably never see anything like it again. The cloth will be exhibited in the palace until 23 February 2020.
For more information on the Bacton Altar Cloth and exhibition, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.
Ways to Follow Vintage Frills
Instagram Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Etsy
Note: We are not the author of this content. For the Authentic and complete version,
Check itsOriginal Source