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Catherine of Aragon - Tudor Style Icon and Power Dresser - Farthingales, blackwork embroidery and sumptuous fabrics

April 01, 2022














When fifteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon stepped ashore in Plymouth at 3 o’clock on the afternoon of 2 October 1501, she must have caused quite a stir. Imagine the scene when the lovely young woman walked down the gangplank, followed by her ladies, all dressed in the latest Spanish fashions.Townspeople jostled for spaces with the great and good of the West Country, hastily summoned to welcome the foreign princess who had travelled so far to marry King Henry Tudor’s heir. How impressed they …

Dartington Hall

December 22, 2021

Dartington Hall, with its mellow grey stone walls, glorious gardens full of birdsong and ancient trees, is a favourite Devon gem I return to again and again.  Now a centre for progressive learning in arts, ecology and social justice,  as well as a vibrant, lively arts and culture venue, Dartington and its gardens still retain a strong sense of times past, an air of peace and tranquility. What we see today has been shaped by many hands, a legacy of many owners, some forgotten, some stellar figures on the stage of history.

Berry Pomeroy - searching for an Elizabethan lady

April 01, 2022

It’s not hard to understand why the ruins at Berry Pomeroy Castle are listed among the most haunted sites in England. Even on a bright March day the stone walls seem to hold echoes of the footsteps of those who walked here long ago. The ragged turrets reach up to a clear blue sky and sunlight streams through gaping holes where finely glazed windows once glittered.  













But even in this clear …

Tudor Teenagers

February 13, 2022

 Guest post for The Historical Fiction Blog


Rosemary Griggs - A Woman of Noble Wit


Tudor Teenagers


Parents of today will recognise that moment when their cherubic, enthusiastic, biddable children seem to transform into moody monsters who sleep all day, never tidy their rooms and are generally out of sorts with the whole world.  I mean, of course, when they become teenagers.   It’s a difficult time for youngsters when hormones are racing around, they are changing both physically and mentally, and there are many new challenges to meet. The …

Partlets - or the art of making a little go a long way

February 13, 2022

         Sixteenth century women were a thrifty lot, and who could blame them.  Fabric and clothing were incredibly expensive.  According to The Tudor Tailor,


        “a day’s wage for a labourer would buy a yard of the cheapest cloth (canvas at 4d a yard) while his wages for six months would barely buy a yard of the dearest cloth …… and a fine cloak, at £20 would require more than three years labour.”




Neither Linen, used mainly for shifts …