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Cathedral of Cloth: celebrating 600 years of Ebley Mill

Published: Friday, 15 December, 2017

Step back in time to the sights and sounds of Ebley Mill for a dramatic new exhibition at Stroud’s Museum in the Park in February 2018.

Cathedral of Cloth will demonstrate the life and times of Ebley Mill, covering the site’s time as a woollen cloth mill for over 600 years. Expect to relive the past through exhibits that include photographs, maps from the 1700’s, samples of cloth, films, and special sound recordings, all organised by Stroudwater Textile Trust together with the Museum in the Park.

You will hear about the people who worked there as well as innovations developed in what was the largest mill in the south-west of England including synthetic cloth created for the protection of racing drivers and for use in heart operations at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The event, which runs over the February half-term, includes hands-on workshops for children and adults in weaving and using natural dyes. In addition to the exhibition, school visits will be brought alive by an actor playing the role of former mill owner Samuel Marling.

David Elford, the Chair of the Stroudwater Textile Trust, said:

"I am delighted that we were awarded a significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to organise this exciting event with the Museum in the Park. In particular, it will allow families to engage with Stroud’s rich textile heritage and the area’s innovation that continues to this day".

David Hagg, Stroud District Council’s chief executive added:

"Ebley Mill will be celebrating its 200th birthday in 2018, and whilst its use has changed over time it has always been a landmark. We organise 'mill' tours and, as the council's home, it is open to the public. We are very privileged to work in such a historic building.

We congratulate the Stroudwater Textile Trust for arranging the exhibition at the award-winning Museum in the Park, another council building with an interesting history."

Cathedral of Cloth runs from Saturday 3 February to Sunday 4 March at the Museum in the Park. More information is on the museum’s website

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