First costume day of the summer holidays

Yesterday was an enjoyable costume day, relatively busy with steady numbers, and not too crazy. It was great to gave some new volunteers giving a hand and to be able to show them what we do. It's certainly true – the more the merrier – it's nice to be have time for a cuppa and keep up with demand from visitors. Hopefully we haven't scared them off!

Again, we had some lovely comments from visitors:

'Amazing. A real laugh and made me stand up taller…'

'Wonderful – great work to create the collection. Great fun had by all, many thanks!'

'I liked feeling like I'm really important.'

'…Thank you for volunteering your time for families to have a lovely experience making memories.'

We also used the occasion to showcase some of the work we've been doing in recent weeks, including the wall hanging inspired by the knot garden and Tudor-dressed rag dolls made from scraps, or cabbage, left over from making our full-sized outfits.

The doll in the blue and red uses up scraps from a similar outfit made for school groups, which is loosely based on a portrait of Mary FitzAlan, step-daughter of Mary Arundell of Lanherne.


The pattern for this doll comes from The Tudor Child, and the clothes are enlarged versions of patterns in the book. Each layer of clothing can be removed. The outfit is made up of a smock, petticoat, kirtle, gown, fore-sleeves, partlet, French hood and girdle.


The other two dolls were more informally made, more guess work than with a pattern. Each has various layers, which are also removable. The Elizabethan gent wears doublet and trunkhose, with a jerkin, ruff, cloak, shoes and a tall hat. Underneath he has hose and a shirt.

The Elizabethan lady wears a smock, stays, bum roll and farthingale, with a kirtle and partlet with a ruff over the top. On top of this is a gown with hanging sleeves. She has black velvet cap decorated with gold and pearl beads, and also has black velvet shoes over stockings tied up with ribbon garters. (She's gained facial features since this photo was taken)

First costume day of 2016

We were lucky that Storm Katie had blown through our area by this morning, and we were only hindered by some showers rather than gale force winds. It brought the crowds in though and lived up to being a usual, busy Easter Monday. 

Several new outfits got a run out today for the first time and looked fabulous. 122 visitors were dressed in four hours and I’m not sure how many more we could’ve dressed in that time and still have been smiling at the end! As it was we took the first opportunity to collapse in a heap when we finished.  

April Fool’s Day

So the first costume day of 2013 has passed. It must have been the busiest day on record at Trerice with 867 visitors. At least 115 of those tried on a costume (there were times when we lost count!) The wardrobes did a sterling job, far better than weak collapsing clothes rails.

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The Hayloft all set for Costume Day this week

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The Hayloft in 2011 – a little bit different!

We had several tiny kids who looked rather cute in mini Tudor costume. There was even one Dad who insisted on wearing a ladies’ costume so we put him in the brown dress with farthingale!

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Some of our volunteer helpers with our very own jester – yes, we found someone to wear the costume all day! Thank you to everyone for their help on such a busy day.

First costume day of 2013 approaches!

The first costume day of the new season fast approaches, and it is now down to the final touches of getting things ready.

We are rather (over-)excited to have NEW wardrobes – 2 more have joined the one from last year. It means we don’t have to cart heavy boxes over on each occasion and it all looks a lot prettier than plastic storage boxes! A very big thank you to our handy man volunteer!

There are some new clothes ready for the new season too, so if anyone has been before they might find something different to try on. Just need to take some decent photos now…

We also have some new volunteers who have joined the Costume Group and hopefully we haven’t scared them off yet! Two of them are husband and wife, so we might even have our very own Tudor tailor to join the seamstresses.

So come along on Monday if you’re in Pastyland and see what we’ve been up to over the winter, we’d be happy to see you. We’ve even got one volunteer who’s promised to wear the Jester’s outfit because it April Fool’s Day!