Plas Mawr and lots of stitching

As promised here are the pics from Plas Mawr in Conwy. I first visited this Elizabethan house 11 years ago on our very first (and very wet!) camping trip when Jake was only 4.

We did that trip in 2 very small two man tents and as I spent most of the time trying to make picnics out of the boot of the car we then bought our very first proper family tent ( one you could stand up in and put a table and chairs in!) on our return. We have lots of really fab camping holidays and are now on our 4th family tent and still going strong!

Since we last visited Plas Mawr it has been extensively re-interpreted – 11 years ago they had done all the structural work but it was very bare but now it is wonderful inside – one of the best properties I have ever visited in terms of the furnishing and detail they have put into the house. And lots and lots of stitching!

The house is one of the best preserved of its period in the UK and is famous for its plasterwork which has been extensively restored. But the little touches such as the rushes on the floor and the fresh herbs in the kitchen really make the house come alive.

Plas Mawr house in the middle of Conwy
Plas Mawr house in the middle of Conwy

 

An example of the amazing plasterwork
An example of the amazing plasterwork

 

The litchen with fresh herbs on the table and rushes on the floor - really need smell-o-vision here!
The kitchen with fresh herbs on the table and rushes on the floor - really need smell-o-vision here!

 

I love the attention to detail like this display of spoons
I love the attention to detail like this display of spoons

 

Part of the courtyard
Part of the courtyard

Because the house has been so well interpreted there is stitching from all periods reflecting the occupation of the house from the 1500s. Starting with an Elizabethan piece in the hall on a child’s high chair.

Scrolling flower and fruit motifs on the cushions
Scrolling flower and fruit motifs on the cushions

In the bedroom there are two wonderful velvet runners each with appliqued needlepoint motifs that are based on the stitching that Bess of Hardwick and Mary Queen of Scots did – some of which are at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire and some at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk.

One of the runners on top of a wooden chest
One of the runners on top of a wooden chest
Detail of one of the needlepoint motifs - bear and ragged staff
Detail of one of the needlepoint motifs - bear and ragged staff
Another popular motif - pansies
Another popular motif - pansies
A needlepoint chair cushion with a combination of tent stitch for the heraldry and a basket weave stitch for the background
A needlepoint chair cushion with a combination of tent stitch for the heraldry and a basket weave stitch for the background
A blackwork coif on the bed
A blackwork coif on the bed
A sadly faded needlepoint runner on one of the tables in the Great Hall
A sadly faded needlepoint runner on one of the tables in the Great Hall
Whitework from the Plas Mawr attic which was furnished as it would have been in the 1870s
Whitework from the Plas Mawr attic which was furnished as it would have been in the 1870s
The sewing box from the attic complete with darning egg and buttons!
The sewing box from the attic complete with darning egg and buttons!

Once again there is no information on where these pieces came from or who stitched them – I suspect either they were done by willing volunteers or obtained from antique shops or sadly charity shops or jumble sales.

A beautiful venue and well worth a visit.

In family news today lovely daughter Ellie got her A level results – she did very well indeed and is off to Worcester University next month to study History, Heritage and Archaeology (no idea how she got interested in that!)

Here she is last weekend at the Glastonbury show teaching the boys how to fingerbraid.Thanks to Mike from Team Falchion for this pic.

Ellie demonstrating some textile arts
Ellie demonstrating some textile arts

Well done – we are all very proud of you!

Will post more Glastonbury pics soon.

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