Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Corsellis Samplers
On a snowy morning in February branch members were privileged to have a private viewing of the exquisite Corsellis Samplers. The Corsellis family owned Layer Marney Towers from 1667 until 1835.  The current Mr Corsellis’ mother, collected samplers and these have been donated to Layer Marney Tower for restoration and display. The photo shows EG members studying some of these samplers.
We were fascinated by these beautiful pieces of embroidery worked by girls from different times. The youngest girl seems to be 9 year old Jane, who included some writing in French and finished her sampler in 1730. In 1742 Isabel included the eyeletted initials of her family members and in 1803‘church born’ Elizabeth worked a wide border of tulips, which probably appealed to Mrs Corsellis with her Dutch ancestry. In 1811 Mary stitched 2 black faced characters with a white woman standing outside a church – could this be Mary with her servants? In 1810 Catherine aged 11 stitched a grand flower arrangement surrounded by angels, while 12 year old Sarah stitched a crinoline dressed lady and fig leaf dressed Adam and Eve.
In May an exhibition of the Corsellis Samplers will be opened to the public, and branch members will produce contemporary samplers to hang along side these.
Watch this space!
By Barbara Bexley

Some other textile events coming up at Layer Marney Tower

Friday 15thJune
Fine Cell Exhibition
Fine Cell is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework to foster hope, discipline and self-esteem. They are holding an exhibition here from 11.00am-5.00pm, there will also be an opportunity to meet people from Fine Cell and buy work.
Sunday 1st-Thursday 12th July
Essex Craft Society
12noon – 5.00pm
The Essex Craft Society will be exhibiting a variety of crafts in our Mediaeval barn. There will be craft demonstrations and the opportunity for visitors to meet with craftsmen. Please note exhibition is closed Fridays and Saturdays.
Sunday 19th-Monday 27th August
Treadle to Thread
12noon – 5.00pm
The Mid Essex Weavers, Spinners & Dyers are holding an exhibition inspired by Layer Marney Tower and its grounds. Includes dying using plants from our gardens, spinning using wool from our sheep and weaving based on colours and textures from the Tower.
Please exhibition closed Saturdays and Sundays.
To find out more visit