Please see our NEWS page for details of a new project to be undertaken at Hatchlands National Trust Property to produce Georgian period costumes for visitors to wear.


For over 30 years Heritage Volunteers from Societies throughout The Arts Society East Surrey Area, including ourselves, have been working for over 6 years on the creation of period costumes for Polesden Lacey, the National Trust property near Bookham. The costumes are worn by volunteer NT Stewards at special events in the house and grounds to try to recreate the atmosphere pervading when the property was owned by the Edwardian hostess, Mrs Greville, who bequeathed it to the NT on her death in 1942.

Part of the latest stage of The Arts Society project, started 3 years ago, has been to reproduce a copy of Mrs Greville’s dress (see photo), complete with Edwardian underwear, working from a black and white archive photograph for guidance. The dress is made of off-white silk georgette lined with silk satin and painted flowers picked out with hand-sewn beads and sequins. For practicality the main seams are machined but all edges, bone covers and bindings are sewn by hand. The total cost of the dress was approximately £540 plus about 2,000 voluntary hours. The costs of the project continue to be shared between East Surrey Area and the National Trust.

The Polesden Lacey staff are delighted with the completed gown which is on display in the Tea Room where Arts Society volunteers are on hand from time to time to talk to visitors.

This is an amazing achievement for the Heritage Volunteers and even members familiar with the house from years gone by might like to revisit it, if only to see this magnificent dress for themselves!

 (Updated 4/5/2017)