In July 2022 we will be staging our first exhibition at Hampton Court Palace in three years, A Girl’s Education in Stitch. The exhibition will demonstrate the variety of work stitched by girls as part of their education and will feature fascinating objects from the RSN Collection and Archive dating from 1730s

A Girl’s Education in Stitch: 20 July 2022 – March 2023

In the early days of formal education, embroidery substituted for reading, writing and maths, so we see the use of Map Samplers in which girls learned writing and geography as well as embroidery.

Moving through to the 1900s we see the start of dressmaking as part of the curriculum and at the exhibition you’ll have the chance to see fascinating examples of miniature outfits from knickers to pinafores.

Other objects on display include notebooks from students as they learned their dressmaking, some with fine penmanship, and early samplers ranging from band samplers to map and darning samplers. Our Collection houses a myriad of samplers sewn by children and young adults and those on display date from 1730s to 1880s.

From the 20th century the exhibition focusses on the Needlework Development Scheme and other ways in which children were taught to stitch along with fine examples of work from girls across the UK.

  • Group Tour prices start from £16pp for Guided Tours
  • Talk & Tours cost £22pp
  • Curator Tours cost £30pp

Talk & Tours and Saturday Curator Tours are available to book  as individual tickets. If you are booking for 10 or more, we recommend reserving a Group Tour.

Please note that your pass does not include entrance to Hampton Court Palace or the gardens and you will need to purchase a separate ticket if you wish to tour the Palace before or after your visit with us.

Talk & Tour

Group Tour

Curator’s Tour

Group Curator’s Tour