The Arts Society Solihull Heritage Project






Following their successful 5 year project for Knowle Parish Church, our Heritage Team (6 members in total plus a professional needlework consultant) wanted another challenge.   The local National Trust property, Packwood House, was approached in January 2014 and a number of projects identified. 


A Visitor’s Book, embroidered by the last private owner’s mother, in 1906 and containing signatures of notable visitors (including Queen Mary) and watercolour paintings of the garden was very fragile and the silk covering fraying on the spine).   Julia Richardson undertook to replicate this embroidered cover and the final work which shows Julia’s expertise, will be mounted onto a new book being obtained by the Trust which will contain replicas of the original contents and available for members of the public to view.


Other members of the Heritage Team have produced seat cushions for the Oriel Window in the Great Hall.   There are four cushions, which make up the horseshoe shape, in a pattern used in the Tapestry which currently hangs in the Dining Room.  Research identified some hangings in Parham Park, East Sussex, possibly an early attempt at Flame or Lightning Stitch, (Italian, Sixteenth Century,) which looked identical to Packwood’s Tapestry.  


So, in February 2015 templates were made of the seat and the pattern and colours used in the tapestry identified.  Wools and tapestry canvas were purchased and their work was divided between four of our Heritage members, Jill Aspell, Moorea Ashton-Jones,  Maureen Hill and Vera McLuskie. The pattern of the tapestry was charted in order that it would flow across the four individual cushions.


We estimate that this work has taken over 2000 hours and has taken eighteen months to complete.  The seat cushions were presented to Packwood House in August 2016.