Saturday, 10 August 2013

Castletown House with the Irish Historical Costumers Group - Part I

Castletown House Kildare Ireland visit
Two weeks ago I went on a day trip with The Irish Historical Costumers Group to Castletown House in Kildare, about an hour from town. It was awfully nice and did not fall short of this one-line introduction on our event (and also on the Castletown House website) that got me excited about the visit:
'This I believe the only house in Ireland to which the term palace can be applied. ' -Richard Twiss, 1775
Built in the 18th century, it's Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house. My first photo probably doesn't show the house to its full advantage; here I quote a photo from the official website for a front look:
Castletown House front view
(Photo from
The long avenue leading up to the house, surrounded by the extensive estate grounds, was most delightful and I wished that I had the time to walk up more leisurely, as I had to run as soon as I got off the bus so as not to be late for our appointed meet up time.

As it had been more than three years since I was last involved in a costumed re-enactment and I hadn't been either making or shopping for historical costumes, I dug into my vintage dress collection and brought up this 1980s iridescent red taffeta costume-y dress by Ronald Joyce, that I sort of call my Black Tulip Dress; which, although by no means historically accurate, is very much in the shape of an 1890s ball gown, with the puffed sleeves and accentuated waist followed by a more voluminous skirt:
vintage red taffeta Victorian dress, Castletown House, interview with the Vampire
(Photo by Andrea Waitz)
(Pretty inappropriate to be wearing an evening gown in the early afternoon, but circumstances prevail!)

1890s evening gowns, late Victorian dresses, fashion plates
(1890s evening gowns. Pictures from Vintage Victorian)

1890s evening gowns, late Victorian evening dresses with puffed sleeves, 1896 fashion plate
(1896 evening gowns. Picture from Vintage Victorian)
And here's a preview of the rest of the tour!

The costumer ladies:
 A Living Room, I think:
Castletown House living room

I was quite taken with this wall paper (?) motif in the unfinished room:
Castletown House Kildare Ireland tour

Isn't Laura's dress train lovely?
blue bustle dress ruffles, Laura Thorp, Castletown House Kildare Ireland

 (I got the vintage Ronald Joyce dress some two years ago in a charity shop [only two years ago?]. The clip-on dangle earrings were made from vintage chandelier pieces, and I'm also wearing a late 1920s bangle. The black beaded bag is a modern reproduction but delightfully goes with almost anything from late Victorian Period to the 50s.)

No comments: