Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tudor Dressing Up at Haddon Hall

The Tudor Group were back at Haddon Hall this weekend - with an event entitled In My Lord and Lady's Chamber.

We went along on Saturday morning - without checking the opening times (duh!) - to discover that we were there a little early and things were still in the setting up stage.
We visited the gentlemen - still in their night gowns and waiting for their man-servants to turn up with clothes - where we discussed the amazingly modern appearance of their footwear and what the lord would do with his cast-off, not quite fashionable clothes.

Then on to the ladies' dressing chamber to see dry 'hair washing' with fullers earth - not quite as revolting as it sounds and their hair felt surprisingly clean afterwards - and the cleaning of teeth with ground cuttle-fish bones and sage.
For face and hand moisturiser, they had a paste made from lard and scented with lavender. When offered I tried a little on the back of my hand and it was nothing like as greasy or smelly as I expected - in fact, rather pleasant.

Unfortunately we had to leave at this point as we had other things we needed to do BUT, having season tickets, dropped in again on the Sunday.



We hoped to pick up at the same stage but the ladies were a little more advanced and into their first layers of underwear, having their hair done.
All the time, the participants were explaining what they were doing, what products they were using, telling the audience about Tudor customs and answering questions.

We then nipped down to the Great Hall where we found some of the liveried servants.
Displayed in the Hall were the clothes that the Lords and Ladies were to be wearing later. It was possible to handle these and investigate how they were made. We talked to the gentleman in charge of the Wardrobe and a 'tailor', both of them full of fascinating information about the running of the household and the making of clothes and shoes.

We then paid a quick visit to his lordship - who was now dressed but awaiting his shoes and hat -


then back to the ladies, to see them finish dressing before taking in a turn in the Long Gallery.

I wish we'd had the chance to spend BOTH days at this event as, with things happening in 3 or 4 rooms, it wasn't possible to see everything.
Hopefully the Tudor Group will be back at Haddon soon.

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