A Medieval monastic garden
My inspiration for Threads of Time 2
By Felicity Marpole
15 November 2014
I was so impressed with the first Threads of Time exhibition that I immediately signed up for Threads of Time 2 even though I only have rudimentary sewing skills.
I want to make a model of a medieval monastic garden and my inspiration for this idea comes from a document in the Delmé Radcliffe collection of archives at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS).
This document ( DE 112B) is an indenture made in 1507, in which the White Carmelite Friars of Hitchin Priory leased some of the Priory land – including a Covent Garden – to a John Rycroft Esquire of the town of Hitchin.
Covent means convent as in the present day area of Covent Garden in London which was built on the site of an ancient convent garden belonging to Westminster Abbey.
Somewhat daunted by the task I’d set myself, especially as I hadn’t sewn anything for years and then only plain sewing, I was encouraged by my good friend, Daphne, who took me to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace . There I was amazed by the wealth of wonderful threads and fabrics and the works of art created from all sorts of textiles and inspired to make a start on my own creation!
For the project I am researching the following:
Hitchin Priory and gardens
Medieval monastic gardens
Herbs and their uses especially those grown in the Middle Ages
Stumpwork or raised embroidery – a type of 3D embroidery
Needle lace – a type of lace created using a needle and thread to stitch up hundreds of small stitches to form the lace itself.
I really enjoyed the first meeting of Threads of Time 2, everyone was so friendly and I was got some helpful advice from an expert in stumpwork!