The Tudor group were at Haddon Hall this weekend. The visitors were treated to a fabulous display of preparing and dressing the Lord and Lady. Also on the day I visited with the BB’s we were fortunate enough to enjoy a nice sunny day too.

In the Kitchen, preparations were being made for personal cleaning, e.g. ground cuttlefish bone for toothpaste and lavender water for washing.

In the Long gallery clothes were being prepared for wearing. But it was in in the side rooms were the most interactive and personal preparations were taking place. The washing and dressing of the Lord and Lady.

In the main hall the ruff preparations were fascinating. I am not sure why, I don’t recall being a big ruff fan, but the painstaking work involved was surprising. The women were washing and starching, then pinning and ironing. The special irons were placed near the fire for later use. It was also here in the main hall where it was explained that the extensive use of linen for washing and for wearing as undergarments ensured that the Tudors were not actually the terrible, stinky Tudors of Victorian myth. It was evident that the removal of the grubby starch from the ruffs brought them back to an almost pristine white. Elsewhere in the hall there was “dry cleaning” of outfits and some embroidering and mending taking place.

Here are the “ruff ladies”

And here are some “prepared ruffs”

Here’s a photo of the Lord in his “autumn” outfit. We’d seen him in his nightshirt earlier so it was nice to see him ready for the afternoon. Upstairs we had seen the dressing of the lady and the hair preparations, but I found the Lord and his assistant the most entertaining, great double act. I guess it has to be when the sewing of the hose to the underwear is taking place!

My Lord ready.

The Tudor group are lovely to talk to and watch. It’s very informative and entertaining. It brings a colour and life to the Hall that is difficult to miss.

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