Discover the evolution of ladies’ dress over the last 1,000 years

A fascinating and unique new exhibition ‘The Change in Ladies Costume from 1066 – 1980’ by costume creator Lisa Jayne Smith, will be on display at Sudeley Castle from 19th July to 31st October. The charming collection features an extensive collection of 74 dolls immaculately dressed in exquisite, hand-made costumes spanning a millennium.

The collection, which took five years to create, will be on display at the castle. Visitors can see the change in ladies clothing over 1,000 years, depicted in miniature form, with exceptional attention to detail; from Saxon dress worn around the time of Harold Godwinson and William the Conqueror to power dressing synonymous with the 1980s anarchic style of fashion. Each costume took between two hours to two weeks to create, and with such a large collection, Lisa Jayne Smith has made this a real labour of love. The collection even includes a majestic miniature model in an ornate early Tudor dress, which can also be seen on life-size models in the main exhibition.

Four dolls inspired by Victorian style, Queen Elizabeth 1, Tudor and Medieval
Victorian, Queen Elizabeth 1, Tudor and Medieval inspired dresses

Lisa Jayne Smith, the creator, said: “I used dolls as my main model for two reasons: I knew they would be available perpetually, and so kept my collection standard, and there are a wide range of different looks, shapes and colours and so reflect the real-life diversity in ladies’ appearances throughout the ages.”

Visitors to the new exhibition can also discover the castles eventful 1,000-year history showcased throughout the recently refurbished ‘Royal Sudeley 1000, Trials, Triumphs and Treasures’ exhibition. The inside areas of the Cotswolds most historic castle include exhibitions, fully furnished castle rooms and the final resting place of Katherine Parr, in the quaint St Mary’s Church, which are all now open to visitors, plus the Adventure Playground for lots of family fun.

Once at the castle you can also enjoy a range of freshly prepared light bites and snacks from the Castle Kitchen Pantry or The Terrace Café, which serves an extended menu featuring local ingredients, a selection of hot and cold food and speciality coffees.

Tickets for Sudeley Castle must be pre-booked online and are on sale now with limited availability at weekends throughout the summer.

Dolls dressed as Queen Elizabeth 1 and a Tudor lady
Queen Elizabeth 1 & a Tudor lady inspired doll

Want to visit Sudeley Castle? Tickets available here

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