Revealing Costume through the Centuries

A crinoline-style skirt and matching bodice, in white cotton gauze with extensive beetle wing embroidery
A crinoline-style skirt and matching bodice, in white cotton gauze with extensive beetle wing embroidery

Heritage Grants

Magherafelt, Northern Ireland
The National Trust
£148500
The National Trust led on this project to promote the Springhill Costume Collection, widely acknowledged as Ireland’s leading textile collection.

The Springhill Costume Collection contains over 3,200 pieces, and spans 300 years of history. It reflects the significant social changes of this period and contains a diverse range of pieces, from working class wear to haute couture.

The project intended to promote this collection as a centre of excellence for costume and textile crafts in Ireland. Thirteen of the most at-risk costumes were selected for full conservation, and went on display across Ireland in a two-year touring exhibition called ‘Ages of Excellence’.

The grant also provided funding for an extensive educational outreach programme, which visited over 70 schools and which engaged pupils in dressing up. Secondary schools also received education packs.

In addition, the project improved display facilities at Springhill, and led to the establishment of a ‘Friends of Springhill’ group, and the creation of reproduction costumes.

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