Children have the chance to search for beautifully crafted mice as part of a fun trail set up alongside Lydiard House’s new exhibition.
Twenty-seven nimble pairs of hands have been responsible for Customs and Crafts – An Exploration in Stitch, which has been put together by members of the Great Western Embroiderers (West County Embroiderers Swindon Group).
More than 100 items of embroidery have been placed inside the historic house alongside the unique collection of furniture and furnishings belonging to the St John family and were inspired by the crafts and customs found in large houses and estates from years gone by.
Margaret Robbie, deputy chair of the Great Western Embroiderers, who also organised the exhibition, said: “This is the third time we have had an exhibition at Lydiard House. Some of our members have been working on their embroidery for a couple of years so a tremendous amount of work has gone into creating this exhibition.
“I think this is our biggest one yet with around 120 different pieces. Some are small, but some are really quite big and on top of that we also have 50 mice for the children’s trail. The mice are hidden throughout the displays and it keeps the children entertained while their parents take in the exhibition.”
The exhibition was officially opened by Swindon Mayor Cllr Nick Martin and runs until Sunday 1 June. Normal admission prices apply.
It also features 10 items produced by Kingsdown Woodcarvers Club including a collection of hand-crafted walking sticks.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Culture, said: “Customs and Crafts is part of a changing programme of displays, offering visitors something new to enjoy and appreciate as they tour around Lydiard House.
“I’m pleased that we can display these beautiful and intricate embroidery pieces, created by local artists, alongside our unique collection of fine furniture, furnishing, porcelain, silverware and portraits.”
In addition to the display, visitors can Meet the Artists on Tuesday, 8 April between 11am and 3pm when members of the Great Western Embroiderers will be available to talk about the inspiration behind their work and share some tips. This event is included in the admission charge to the house.
On Thursday, 10 April at 7pm, there is an evening talk by Maggie Harris on the History of Embroidery. Tickets are priced at £3 and can be booked by calling Lydiard Park on 01793 465277.
Lydiard House and the Georgian Walled Garden is open Tuesday to Sunday between 11am and 4pm. Joint tickets cost £4.70 for adults, £4.20 for seniors and £2.30 for children. Under 5s go free and family tickets are available. Separate tickets to the Lydiard House or the Walled Garden are also available.
For more information, please contact Lydiard House on 01793 466664.
Pictured, top, Margaret Robbie (left) and Maggie Harris with a quilt made by Great Western Embroiderers member Caroline Goss; bottom, Kingsdown Woodcarver Wayne Hayward with Swindon Mayor Cllr Nick Martin.