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Durham University

What's On

What's On

‘Mistress Wintour's Rich Embrodered Churchestuffe: practical Catholic devotion for laywomen following the Gunpowder Plot’

4th November 2015, 18:30 to 20:00, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, County Durham. DL14 7NR.

Auckland Castle Lecture Series
Jan Graffius, Curator at Stonyhurst, will present an examination of Helena Wintour's embroidered vestments and their Catholic iconography. The talk will look at the religious and cultural resources available to recusant laity in the decades after the failed Plot of 1605, and Helena's close association with Jesuit spirituality. The complex iconography of her beautiful embroideries draws on many sources, from botanical prints to Counter-Reformation confraternities and English metaphysical poetry.

Helena's remarkable life story and that of the creation and survival of a unique set of 17th century embroideries is a compelling, romantic and tragic tale, which culminates in the triumphal re-uniting of her divided life's work at Auckland Castle, in the exhibition 'Plots and Spangles: The Embroidered Vestments of Helena Wintour’ that opens in October 2015.

Auckland Castle hosts a Public Lecture programme on the first Wednesday of every month. Lectures start at 6.30pm. Doors open at 6pm and a complimentary drink is served before the lecture.

Tickets are £6 or free with an Annual Pass (costing £15). 

Please book a space for catering purposes by calling 01388 743797, emailing, or popping in to our Visitor Reception at Auckland Castle.

Please note there is no parking on site at Auckland Castle but there is clear signage to North Bondgate car park a short walking distance away.

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