The Kings House
65 The Close
c/o Jane Ellis-Schon
Collections Manager/Curator of Archaeology
Direct Line: +44 (0)1722 820545
Museum: +44 (0)1722 332151 (Assistant Curator)
The costume collection contains clothes related to the local history of Salisbury, for example the uniforms of Wiltshire volunteer militia, Downton Lace (a local 19th century lace industry named after a village south of Salisbury) and early uniforms from Salisbury Teacher Training College. Much of the costume and textiles collection were worn, made by or associated with local people which helps to tell the story of the local area, particularly because it creates a direct connection with people from the past. There are an estimated 5,000 items within the costume collection.
There is a large collection of 18th and 19th century ladies dresses (mainly due to Salisbury ladies who donated items to the collection in the early 20th century, when the collection was being formed), fashion accessories (including fans, bonnets and parasols) and examples of embroidery including 17th century stumpwork and 18th century samplers. Some items in the collection are of particular research value; for example access to a riding habit studied by Janet Arnold in the 1960s is requested by c.10-20 researchers a year, mainly students from a University fashion course.
Images © courtesy Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.