Lace Unravelled

Lace Unravelled Symposium
Thursday 15 March – Friday 16 March 2018

The Lace Unravelled Symposium reflects on the multiple perspectives of lace as a product, an industry, and an inspiration for contemporary creativity.

It brings together curators, lace industry experts, academics and artists from the UK, France and Australia to share knowledge about lace and lace making, within the historical context of lace making in Nottingham.

Delegates will have the opportunity to engage in an exciting programme of talks, demonstrations, artists’ projects and tours of Nottingham City Museums and Galleries’ world-class Lace and Lace Machinery collections.

This two-day event takes place at Wollaton Hall, a masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture and home to Nottingham Industrial Museum, and Newstead Abbey: the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron, which also houses the Costume, Textiles and Lace collection. An evening reception at Nottingham Castle will introduce delegates to plans for the Castle’s new permanent exhibition about Nottingham Lace and, on the eve of the Symposium (Wednesday 14 March, 5pm – 7pm), delegates are invited to the launch of the Lace Unarchived exhibition at Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, click here for details.

Tickets are now available to purchase via EventbriteTickets are priced at £50 to attend Day 1 or Day 2 only or £80 to attend both! Tickets are limited and you must pre-book. If you have queries please contact Colette Griffin at or 0115 876 1433.

Click here to view to full programme for the Lace Unravelled symposium for details of the schedule and information on all of our speakers.


Lace Unravelled Public Programme
Saturday 10 March – Sunday 22 April 2018

Lace Unravelled extends beyond the Symposium, with a programme of events to share the project with the public. The Lace Unveiled exhibition will continue at Newstead Abbey until 22 April and Lace Unarchived will show at Bonington Gallery until 29 March.

Lace Unravelled
10 March – 22 April 2018
Venue: Newstead Abbey

Lace Unveiled will present work by contemporary artists inspired by lace displayed within the rooms of Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of the Romantic Poet Lord Byron. These will be shown alongside objects from the world-class Nottingham City Museums & Galleries Lace Collection.

Works include Bragança and Mestre de Avis by Lisbon-based Joana Vasconcelos, a video commission by artist Joy Buttress and designer Manolis Papastavrou, new installations by Shane Waltener in the house and grounds, and the secrets we keep from ourselves by textiles artist Lucy Brown.

For details about Newstead Abbey and entry fees please click here.

Lace Walks
Saturday 17 March 2018 & Sunday 18 March 2018
Venue: Beginning at Nottingham Castle
Distance & Duration: 3.5 miles, 2.5 hours

Manufactured lace had a momentous impact on Nottingham: helping to change a turbulent county town into a modern industrialised municipality. Within the middle decades of the nineteenth century the development of this industry effected nearly every aspect of town life: economy, urban development, population, public institutions and even political ethos.

In the space of just a few miles, it is possible to see the sheer scale and speed of this change. Local historian and graphic designer Chris Matthews will lead a guided walk, taking in not only the workshops, factories and warehouses but also the streets, housing, parks and buildings transformed by the lace industry. Chris has also produced a ‘lace walk’ map of Nottingham to accompany his walks, which is available free during the Symposium and from locations around the Lace Market for the duration of the Lace Unravelled programme. The map invites visitors to navigate their own ‘lace walk’ around the City.

Talks & Tours
Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 March 2018
Venue: Wollaton Hall & Newstead Abbey

Saturday 17 March: Lace machine demonstrations will take place in the Nottingham Industrial Museum (entry fees apply). Work by artist Carol Quarini, inspired by the Battle of Britain panel can be seen in Wollaton Hall’s Prospect Room (only accessible via a spiral staircase) . See website for details. Or view the NTU Lace Archive and Lace Unarchived exhibition at Nottingham Trent University.

Sunday 18 March: Join Judith Edgar, Curator of Lace, Costume & Textiles at Nottingham City Museums & Galleries for a behind the scenes collection tour at Newstead Abbey. Take place on Sunday 18 March at 1030am, 12pm and 2pm. Use this opportunity to take a house tour and view Lace Unveiled. The stores are only accessible via stairs, numbers are limited so please ensure that you have booked a place, recommended for age 14+.

Check the Wollaton Hall and Newstead Abbey site websites for details regarding parking changers and house opening times. If you have any queries please contact Colette Griffin on 0115 876 1433 or



Lace Unravelled is an ongoing project, to check out behind the scenes details including updates on the conservation of our lace sample books check out our blog! Lace Unravelled has been made possible thanks to Arts Council England’s Designation Development Fund and The Grand Tour.

Image Credits: Parasol-cover, silk Pusher machine-made lace imitating Chantilly bobbin-made lace with hand embroidered outlines, c.1855-65, NCM 1992-224, photo by Joy Buttress; Chris Matthews in Nottingham’s Lace Market; Guy Birkin – The Edge, promotional video, 1980s, NCMG collection.