Costume and Textiles

Click on the images below to find out more about objects in our costume and textiles collection.


The majority of the museum’s costume collection is representative of clothing worn by men, women and children over the past 200 years. However, some items date from much earlier than this, such as a sixteenth-century gauntlet believed to have been worn by Mary, Queen of Scots. The collection also includes military uniform and equipment.

The textiles collection ranges from bedspreads to tapestries, and from stumpwork to samplers. This collection includes a set of eight Aubusson tapestries and pieces of a Wernier tapestry dating from 1700.

Objects in our costume and textiles collection are on display in the Costume in Context, Town and Country and Furniture galleries.

During the Covid-19 situation we have temporarily removed the gallery hand-lists.  If you have a pre-booked visit of the Museum booked in from September onwards, here are PDF copies of the hand-lists that you can download and view on a smart device when you visit, in order to find out more about the contents of the display cases:

Many more objects are kept in storage and can be viewed by appointment.