The Wiltshire Village of Downton lies on the river Avon between Salisbury and the New forest. Its pretty red brink Thatched cottages for centuries were the home to hundred of women workers making a unique kind of handmade lace.
A present of handkerchiefs edged with Downton Lace was sent to Queen Mary for the Coronation in 1911 and to royal brides including the present Queen. And Downton Lace is still made today, not as a means to a living but by local enthusiasts who are a part of a worldwide revival of interest in the craft.
The story of how the skills of an industry that began here in the 17th century have survived in to the 21st is the subject of a new exhibition. Isobel Easton went to meet some of today’s Downton Lace makers.
Dowton definition and more