Victoria Frank, Inc.

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East Anglia: The Heart of Textiles
from the 16th to 20th centuries

October 20 – 27, 2019

Crewel Embroidery

I don’t know if I have ever been as excited about a tour as I am about this one. East Anglia was the center of the textile industry for centuries and the collections we will see reflect the long history. This unique tour includes:

If you are interested, call me at 847.784.1212 or email me at

The Itinerary:

Cardogan Gardens

Day 1 – Arrive London, Welcome Dinner

You will be met at Heathrow airport and driven to our gracious hotel in a private car, chartered to accommodate your itinerary.

The program will officially begin as we gather to meet one another over tea and head out to our private viewing of the crown jewels at The Tower of London. After The Tower, we will enjoy dinner in the private room of the new restaurant at 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel.

Norwich Bright Ecclesiastical Vestments

Day 2 – Watts, Westminster Abbey and Travel to Norfolk

Visit to workroom at Watts & Co, an ecclesiastical vestment company founded in 1874 by three of the country’s leading Gothic Revival architects: George Frederick Bodley, Thomas Garner and Gilbert Scott the younger

Private Tour of Westminster Abbey

Lunch at the Abbey

Travel to Norfolk (approximately 3-hour drive) and check-in at our sensational country hotel, The Oaksmere

Day 3 – A Day at a Private Georgian Manor House

The morning will be spent touring Lynn’s remarkable embroidery collection spanning from 16th to 21st centuries in her Georgian manor house, located approximately 10 minutes from our hotel.

Arts & Crafts Embroidery

Before lunch, Fiona McKelvie will inform us of the flax growing project on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk supported by George VI in the years prior to WW2 when he was advised by experts from the Linen Research Association near Lisburn in Ulster. Fiona will also talk more generally about flax growing in the area around Diss. The local museum is supplying artifacts to support Ms. McKelvie’s talk and representatives from the museum will join us for the presentation and for lunch.

If you would like, you will have time to stroll into the historic town of Diss before our afternoon embroidery workshop taught by Lynn Hulse and based on an early 17th century portrait that hangs in the manor house. The class will be held in the home’s large, bright conservatory that has a radiant heated floor.

Norwich Shawls

Day 4 – Norwich

Today we will travel to Norwich (approximately 45-minute drive)

We will spend the morning at the 900 year old Norwich Cathedral. After a short general tour we will meet with Helen Jenkins, head of the “Broderer’s Guild” to tour the remarkable historic textile collection that includes magnificent vestments and dazzling altarpieces.

We’ll stop by to meet some members of the guild, see what they are working on and take them to lunch at the Cathedral Refectory.

After lunch we will visit the Norwich Castle Study Center with curator, Ruth Battersby-Tooke to see the collection of Stuart raised work, 18th century costume, Norwich shawls and calamancos (glazed wool cloth), for which the city is famous. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Bridewell Museum which tells the story of the city’s industries, including the textile and shoe trade.

Gainsborough Silks

Day 5 – Sudbury

Today we head to Sudbury in Suffolk (approximately 1-hour drive) where we will immerse ourselves in the area’s rich history of silk making.

We start at Humphries Weaving, one of the country’s most distinguished silk weavers (the firm is one of only three that have continued to produce silk cloth in the East of England). Richard Humphries will enchant us with stories of his many restoration projects for private homes, Historic Royal Palaces, and the National Trust properties and we will hear about some of his American projects.

On to lunch at a restaurant located in an historic textile mill where Mary Schoeser will tell us about the textile history of the area in her talk entitled Spitalfields to Sudbury.

After lunch we will visit Gainsborough Silks. We will tour through the factory where you will see the historic looms in action after which the company will show us samples of some of the exceptional silks that they produce (like these pictured here).

Coggeshall Plated Lunch

Day 6 – Coggeshall

Today we will focus on historic Coggeshall (approximately 1-hour drive) in Essex

We will start the day with a visit to Mary Schoeser’s School of Textiles where Mary will speak on velvets.

From the School to Paycocke’s House, an authentic wool merchant’s home and garden

Lunch will be offered at a splendid local restaurant and winery

After lunch we will visit the charming local museum. Mary has asked a local weaver to come and show us the loom in action and a local lady will demonstrate the technique of lace making (she is the last of the local lace makers)

Back to the hotel for a rest – and then on to our spectacular Farewell Dinner

Beaded Tea Cozy

Day 7 – Ickworth and London

Check out of hotel and transfer to Ickworth (approximately 45 minutes) where we will partake in a Private State Room tour, before it is open to the public

Lunch on board the coach as we return to London and the comfort of 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel (approximately 2-hour drive)

Afternoon free

Dinner at hotel

Day 8 – Farewell!

You will leave the hotel in a car ordered to accommodate your personal itinerary

The Experts

Dr. Lynn Hulse

Dr. Lynn Hulse

Lynn Hulse is a trustee of the Brangwyn Gift at the William Morris Gallery, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and Co-founder of Ornamental Embroidery, which teaches and designs historic handmade needlework inspired by objects from museum and private collections. She is the editor of May Morris: Art & Life. New Perspectives (2017) and author of the forthcoming publications The Embroidered Furnishings of the Lethbridge Sisters, c. 1899-1922 (OE Publications) and The Art of Needlework: Projects
from the Nineteenth Century (Crowood Press)

Ms. Mary Schoeser

Ms. Mary Schoeser

Mary Schoeser is a leading authority in the field of textiles and is Honorary President of the UK Textile Society. (Pictured here with Kate Wigley on the left.)

As an adviser on historic textiles and wallpaper, she has worked with organizations such as English Heritage, the National Trust, Liberty in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Schoeser has organized many textile exhibitions, including a collaboration with the Design Museum at the University of California, Davis, to highlight elements of their collection researched in connection with this book. Her previous publications include International Textiles and World Textiles, and Silk.

Ms. Fiona McKelvie

Ms. Fiona McKelvie

Fiona McKelvie has worked in textiles for most of her career and during that time she has been involved with companies such as Nina Campbell, Liberty of London and The White House (a UK specialist in fine linens). During her 14 years at Liberty her role was that of Export Sales Manager, working closely with overseas customers, agents and distributors.

More recently, she has launched a website sharing her passion for antique and vintage Irish Linens McBurney & Black.

Comments from Guests who took a similar trip to London in 2017
to study William Morris:

Trip Includes:

Cost: $7,115 (based on single occupancy/contact me for double occupancy pricing)

You won't have to lift a finger...