Borne Out With Whalebone



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Borne Out With Whalebone: A dressing demonstration with Ninya Mikhaila


Date : Wednesday 22th May 2024

Time: 6.45 pm – 9.30 pm


The session:

In 2022 the Antiques Roadshow filmed at Wollaton Hall and expert Hilary Kay was shown a unique survival of Elizabethan dress.


For one evening only, the sleeve will be on display as part of a special fundraising event.


The farthingale sleeve was an integral part of fashionable women’s dress in the 1590s when both shoulders and hips were widened, in contrast to an elongated narrow waist by being ‘borne out with whalebone’. These exaggerated fashions of the late Elizabethan era have led to the modern belief that women were somewhat immobilised by them and had difficulty fitting through small doorways and spaces. In the case of Wollaton Hall it has been said that ladies could not access the Prospect Room, which is reached by a small stone spiral staircase, whilst wearing their farthingales.


In this dressing demonstration historical costumier Ninya Mikhaila will show how a lady’s outfit was achieved, from the underwear out, using reconstructed garments. Finally, an experiment will be carried out to see if the model can ascend the stairs once fully dressed!


All monies raised will go toward the planned restoration of the ornamental pond in the formal garden at Wollaton Hall. Ticket price includes a drink and free parking.


PRICE: £15 per person – Pre-booked tickets in advance apply.

LOCATION: Wollaton Hall

Parking: Any standard parking area on site, the nearest is the main car park next to the courtyard building & the red phone box.

Plan your visit and see our accessibility page for Wollaton Park.



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