“ Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 6AF. Tel: +44(0)115 915 3500. OPEN: Wed-Sun (and Bank Holiday Monday) 10am-4pm. ADMISSION: Free. „
Nottingham has been the centre of lace and textile production for hundreds of years. This museum displays costumes and textiles from 1790 to 1935 in a wonderful set of period rooms. The museum is situated in a row of 17th century houses and this gives the whole museum a feeling of looking into the past. There are six main rooms (on two floors) in the museum and you walk through the museum in the chronological order of the costumes. The displays are all in glass cabinets or room settings. The room settings are very authentic with all of the furniture etc. from the same period as the costumes, with the costumes on full size dummies. This is a very quiet museum and the displays are very much for looking at and reading about. There is no touching, which is a shame, as a lot of the character of a textile can be how it feels when worn. Obviously many of the original costumes are too delicate to touch, and many are kept under dim lighting to prevent any deterioration. Perhaps though there could be some replicas of the textiles for people to feel. As well as the costumes there are displays of embroidery, needlework, shoes, accessories and a collection of doll’s dresses from 1800 to date. Every display has a wealth of information on plaques, which is well written and easy for anybody to follow. Although some children may find this museum interesting I am afraid it is not a place they are likely to get very excited about. This is very much a museum for people in the textile industry, either professionals or students. Like all museums obviously their whole collection is not on display and access to the achieves and collections in store can be made on Wednesdays by appointment. The museum is open on Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am – 4.00pm and Bank Holiday Mondays. Admission is FREE and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. There is a small shop selling a few souvenirs and a good collection of books about textiles. <
br> Wheelchair access is only available to the ground floor and for any visitors with hearing or sight impediments there are tape and large print facilities. This museum is quite interesting, but if costumes and textiles are not your field then it is unlikely your visit will last more than an hour at the most. If you are in the textile business then I think you will find this well laid out museum very interesting.