We are delighted to announce the opening of our new café and restaurant, James’ Kitchen at Hartlebury Castle. The café will serve brunch, lunch, cream teas, homemade cakes and a special children’s menu.
If you visit the Castle you will find the volunteers at work on most Wednesdays throughout the summer.
To learn more about the embroideries, see our previous blog about the work of Lady Julia Carew.
Making the first stitch…
“Every bride should be able to cross stitch her own stair carpet”, said Lady Julia Crew, who married Sir Robert Carew of Castleboro House, Ireland in 1888. History does not relate if she did so, but she did go on to become one of the “Best Embroideresses in Society” according to the Royal School of Needlework, who designed the wall hangings that she made for their Irish home.
How Lady Julia Carew’s embroideries came to Hartlebury Castle, is a mystery which we hope to solve. She signed the fabric and dated it in 1919, three years before her death in 1922. She had worked at her embroidery for five to seven hours per day. The chair covers, made from the embroidered fabric, are showing the passage of time, both in the wear and tear on the base fabric, and in the fading of what had been vibrant colours of the wool. Mostly, these chairs are beyond sensible repair.
But help is at hand.
The Worcester and Malvern Decorative and Fine Arts Societies have members who are trained Heritage Volunteers, and they possess the necessary skills not simply to renovate but to recreate these chair covers in all their former glory. Work will commence on March 30th at 10.30 ,when Hartlebury Castle re-opens to the public after the winter break, the Volunteers will be working in a room open to the public and it will be possible to see them working on Wednesdays most weeks. They have managed to source material that matches the original, together with wools in the original colour.
The existing chair covers, or some of them, will be carefully mounted and displayed for comparison, and it is hope that there will in the future be some embroidery kits for sale, for those who wish to create a memory of their visit.
Susan Dolman, Chair, City of Worcester DFAS
- See our previous blog about the work of Lady Julia Carew.
The gardening volunteers were particularly adventurous last Saturday.
As well as pressing on with demolishing molehills, and edging and pruning, the intrepid Richard and Becky went on a mission to reveal some of Hartlebury’s hidden assets. Great progress on uncovering steps down to the sunken garden and also access to what is either a boat house or a smugglers cave (a wild rumour we think…) take a look.
And, as normal, the brambles were well up to standard.
Safety kit, tools and cake provided for all volunteer gardeners. If you can provide 2 or more hours to help out in our garden please email Alison Brimelow.
The first gardening day of the season was enlivened by a group is scouts playing Grandmother’s footsteps in the Carriage Circle on Saturday. It was great to hear the garden so full of children’s voices.
Despite the drizzle we made a good start on pruning, notably wisteria and roses. And there was cake
Hartlebury Castle’s next volunteer gardening day is 5 March. Tools, protective gear and cake provided!
If you can provide 2 or more hours please email Alison Brimelow.
Help manage and maintain the gardens to ensure Hartlebury looks beautiful for visitors. Volunteers needed to help with weeding, planting, pruning and other gardening work. An opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ and see the immediate impact of your hard work.
This Worcester News article celebrates the great work done for us by the Severn Valley Railway gang in January. Join us on Saturday February 20th. Tools, protective gear and cake provided!
If you can provide 2 or more hours please email Alison Brimelow.
Thank you to Alan Smith and Areley Kings Arts who put on a production of Scrooge at the Castle on the 4 and 5th of December. All proceeds were kindly donated to Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust and will contribute towards securing the future of Hartlebury Castle.
Will Smith’s photographs share the fun we had!
Our gardening volunteers made great progress planting spring bulbs in the Hartlebury Castle’s Carriage Circle last week. Their blog below.
“Two of us started the effort on Thursday in an intermittent drizzle. It is not just a case of popping a few bulbs into the borders, each handful of bulbs needs a patch cleared to plant them in. We had to clear patches in amongst the Jerusalem Sage as the rain got harder.
We were kept amused by children racing each other around the Carriage Circle. Museum staff were encouraging families to come into the circle by challenging children to see how fast they could run round it. So cute… little legs pounding round, dressed in wellies, chasing siblings, but most importantly using Hartlebury Castle to enjoy themselves!
Saturday dawned much more encouragingly and we managed to prepare borders, plant bulbs, tidy up a bit more of the edge of the grass circle, and continue work in the Queen Elizabeth Walk. This was all possible thanks to a great turn out of volunteers. It was so good to see both new and younger volunteers getting stuck into the work in hand.
The narcissus planting is now almost finished, but there are still plenty of tulips to plant. Hopefully, the narcissi will start to show above ground soon as it will be very difficult to plant tulips until we can see where the spaces are! One thing is certain, we should have a riot of colour for visitors in the spring.”
If you would like to volunteer as a gardener please email Alison Brimelow.
We have blogged previously about the work of Lady Julia Carew. Her embroideries cover a number of chairs at Hartlebury Castle.
The embroideries are delicate and beginning to show their age. We are very pleased that volunteers from the City of Worcester and Malvern Hills branches of the National Decorative & Fine Arts Society (NADFAS) – CoWDFAS and MHDFAS – have agreed to create replica covers.
Above is a single image prepared by Len. This isolates the cover from its surroundings. The damage to the cover from years of use is obvious.
The NADFAS volunteers will work from these reference images. They will use coloured wools carefully chosen to match the original colours. As the exposed colours are faded, the colours are matched to the unfaded reverse of each embroidered cover. The replicas will be used to cover the chairs. The originals will be displayed in a way that is sensitive to their more delicate condition.