|Barley Hall, the entrance|
The oldest parts of the building date from about 1360, and the rest from around 1430. Now fully restored, it has been decorated to replicate how it would have looked in around 1483.There are no barriers or glass screens in place, and you are encouraged to pick things up.
|The Great Hall (on the right) from outside . . .|
|. . . and inside, showing the open hearth|
As well as looking round the hall itself there was something more to pique my interest; some of the costumes from Wolf Hall were on display.
There are also some costumes from other television series about Henry VIII and his wives, but I've limited the post to the Wolf Hall costumes. First up was this costume worn by Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford (Anne's sister-in-law).
Because the costume is all black, it's hard to see the details. However on this side view it's just possible to see the side opening of the bodice (click on the image to enlarge it).
|Bodice detail and Henry VIII photobomb|
(In the background is one of the costumes from the 1970 BBC series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Click here for a great article from the always wonderful Frock Flicks about these costumes.)
The thing which I really noticed about this costume was the beautiful chemise underneath.
When I was looking for online images of the costumes (of which more later) I noticed that the chemise was very similar to this one worn by Liz Cromwell - which made me wonder if several were made, or if the same one was used for multiple characters.
|Liz Cromwell. Image © BBC|
Next was a costume worn by the Duke of Norfolk.
|Suitably ornate costume for a duke|
Close-up you could see all the different fabrics which has been used.
|Even the gloves are decorated|
In the next room were more costumes.
|(L to R) Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, Katherine of Aragon and Stephen Gardiner|
Gardiner's costume was quite plain, befitting a man of the church, albeit with fur trim. Katherine's costume was also dark, but made from a greater variety of fabrics than Jane Boleyn's and again trimmed with fur.
|Katherine of Aragon and Stephen Gardiner|
|Showing the contrasting sleeve fabric|
I was intrigued by Anne's shoes. Who knew that wedge heels were popular in the Tudor period? I assume that this was just to give the actress height.
|Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, and curious shoes|
Thomas Cromwell's costume was described as coming from quite early on in the series, when he was wealthy enough to afford fur, but still wearing wool rather than costlier fabrics.
If I'd been bemused by the shoes, it was nothing compared to the shock of finding metal grommets on this costume! Given how much the BBC stressed the accuracy of the costumes when the series aired, I can only assume that like Anne's wedges, this was something which was not meant to show when the costume was being worn.
There were still a lot of details to like though, like this cuff.
|Beautiful gathering and hand stitching|
Anne's costume, like several of the others, used lots of different trims and fabrics together to create the overall effect.
|Lace fastening just visible on the long sleeve|
|Lots of different trims on the French hood|
I don't remember this dress from the series at all, in fact none of the costumes appear in any of the images I've found online. I shall have to find a pile of hand-sewing to do, and sit down and watch it again.
The Wolf Hall costumes are on display at Barley Hall until the end of May.