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RSN offers new embroidery classes inspired by the rare lost dress of Elizabeth I

By Mark Hayhurst 03 Oct 2019

The discovery of the Bacton Altar Cloth at St Faith’s Church, Bacton, Herefordshire, has excited historians and the textile community alike.

It has been painstakingly conserved and will now form the focal point of a new exhibition at Hampton Court Palace ‘The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I′, open from October 12 - February 23. The Royal School of Needlework has partnered with the Palace to offer unique and exclusive Embroidery Classes to view the exhibition and stitch beautiful motifs inspired by the cloth.

The RSN Day Classes take place at Hampton Court Palace on October 25, November 22 and February 7. The stitch designs have been inspired by three motifs in the Bacton Altar Cloth - a Daffodil, Thistle and Rose.

Classes begin with an exclusive visit to see the Exhibition before the Palace opens where you will receive a short talk from Eleri Lynn, Curator of Historical Dress for Historical Royal Palaces, who discovered this amazing treasure.

Eleri will talk about the frontal and the accompanying exhibits. Then students will come to the Royal School of Needlework’s apartments within the Palace to stitch these unique designs using the same Elizabethan techniques that produced this extraordinary piece.

The Royal School of Needlework has also been working with Historic Royal Palaces to help bring the embroidery of this wonderful piece to life for visitors to the exhibition. The Royal School’s Embroidery Studio has created three samples of embroidery worked in the same techniques as the original, and using fabric and threads as near as possible to the original. These samples have been produced to allow visitors to get up close to the techniques and stitches used in the historic altar cloth. The three motifs chosen for the samples, Daffodil, Thistle and Rose, are also the inspiration for the new Bacton Altar Cloth inspired Day Classes.

The one day Embroidery Classes inspired by the Bacton Altar Cloth costs £180. The price includes the day class, kit, short lecture and exclusive entry into the exhibition. For bookings, visit or email:

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