Kidderminster artist's exquisite doll display

An exhibition, entitled The Change in Ladies Costume from 1066 – 1980, has gone on display at Sudeley Castle and features the work of Kidderminster costume creator Lisa Jayne Smith.

Exhibition features 74 different dolls
Exhibition features 74 different dolls

The display which runs from now until August 31 features an extensive collection of 74 dolls which are immaculately dressed in exquisite, hand-made costumes spanning a millennium.

The collection, which took five years to create, enables visitors to see the change in ladies clothing over 1,000 years, depicted in miniature form, with exceptional attention to detail.

The dolls' clothing ranges from Saxon dress, worn around the time of Harold Godwinson and William the Conqueror, to power dressing which was synonymous with the 1980s anarchic style of fashion.

Each individual costume took between two hours and two weeks to create, and with such a large collection, Lisa Jayne Smith has made the exhibition a real labour of love.

The collection even includes a majestic miniature model in ornate early Tudor dress, which can also be seen on life-size models in the main exhibition.

Lisa Jayne said: “I used dolls as my main model for two reasons as I knew they would be available perpetually, and to keep my collection standard, and there are a wide range of different looks, shapes and colours and so reflect the real-life diversity in ladies’ appearances throughout the ages.”

Visitors to the new exhibition can also discover the castle's eventful 1,000-year history showcased throughout the recently refurbished Royal Sudeley 1,000, Trials, Triumphs and Treasures exhibition.

The inside areas of the most historic castle in the Cotswolds includes exhibitions, fully furnished rooms and the final resting place of Katherine Parr, in the quaint St Mary’s Church.

These are all now open to visitors, as is the Adventure Playground which provides lots of family fun.

Inside the castle people can also enjoy a range of freshly-prepared light bites and snacks from the Castle Kitchen Pantry or The Terrace Café, which serves an extended menu featuring local ingredients, a selection of hot and cold food and speciality coffees.

Tickets for Sudeley Castle must be pre-booked online and are on sale with limited availability at weekends throughout the summer.

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