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As well as all of the exciting work taking place on the roof here at Attingham, we also like to put on small exhibitions in the house. Until mid-October we have a new exhibition in the rooms called Keepsakes and Memories which is similar to the Hidden Lives exhibition we had last year.

Keepsakes and Memories displays some of our less well-known objects which are often located in our stores and tells you the story behind them.

One of the highlights includes the silk ‘Coming Out Dress’ of Miss Gioconda Hulton, sister of the last Lady Berwick. This dress was made in 1905 and first worn at a ball in Venice where the sisters grew up.

Bodice section of Gioconda's Coming Out Dress made in 1905

Bodice section of Gioconda’s Coming Out Dress made in 1905

Skirt section of Gioconda's Coming Out Dress 1905

Skirt section of Gioconda’s Coming Out Dress 1905

We are currently cataloguing our historic photographs and it is always wonderful to be able to link collection items with images of the people who owned them, especially if the object features in the photograph itself.

Teresa, later Lady Berwick (left) and her elder sister Gioconda (right) at their home in Venice c. 1905

Teresa, later Lady Berwick (left) and her elder sister Gioconda (right) at their home in Venice c. 1905

Another of the objects on display is our intriguing shell collection in the Boudoir. We do not know exactly who created this collection, which is housed in a cupboard, but it may have been by the wife of the 1st Lord Berwick, for whom the room was painted in the 1780s, or by his mother or grandmother.

The shell collection in the Boudoir which also contains two seahorses and an ostritch egg!

The shell collection in the Boudoir which also contains two seahorses and an ostrich egg!

Pastel of Anne, wife of the 1st Lord Berwick with her son Thomas in her arms c. 1770

Pastel of Anne, wife of the 1st Lord Berwick with her son Thomas in her arms c. 1770

The shell collection is only on display for special occasions and is just one example of the crazy collecting habits of some of the members of the Hill family who lived at Attingham. In the early 1800s Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick spent large amounts of money on purchasing paintings, both old and new, and also spent on antiquities and books. Unfortunately it all caught up with him and he went bankrupt in 1827!

Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick went on the Grand Tour in the 1790s and then spent extravagantly on Attingham in the early 1800s.

Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick went on the Grand Tour in the 1790s and then spent extravagantly on Attingham in the early 1800s.

Finally, you can also see some objects relating to Richard, 5th Lord Berwick who was securing the finances of the Attingham Estate in the mid 1800s and implementing agricultural developments. He bred his prize herd of Hereford cattle and won prizes for his ducks and chickens. We have the medals that he won which we have now displayed in the West Ante Room alongside a rifle which he helped to develop.

Richard, 5th Lord Berwick bred his prize herd of Hereford cattle at Cronkhill and did not live in Attingham Hall.

Richard, 5th Lord Berwick bred his prize herd of Hereford cattle at Cronkhill and did not live in Attingham Hall.

In the 1850s the 5th Lord Berwick had his prize herd of Hereford cattle painted by the artist W.H. Davies.

In the 1850s the 5th Lord Berwick had his prize herd of Hereford cattle painted by the artist W.H. Davis.

One of the medals won by Richard, 5th Lord Berwick for his cattle.

One of the medals won by Richard, 5th Lord Berwick for his cattle.

He was a talented craftsman and patented the Cronkhill rifling technology, named after the John Nash Italianate villa on the Estate where he lived. He also crafted flutes and clarinets.

Rifle which makes use of the technology developed by the 5th Lord Berwick

Rifle which makes use of the technology developed by the 5th Lord Berwick

Cronkhill in the early 1900s

Cronkhill in the early 1900s

You can see all of these interesting objects, and more, any day in the house until mid-October. You never know, they may trigger an interesting memory that you have, or remind you of a keepsake that you have hung onto.

Attingham Hall, Shropshire is full of wonderful objects!

Attingham Hall, Shropshire is full of wonderful objects!

Saraid

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