Worth Park Costume Project

lynn measuring for trimmings

Measuring for trimmings

Members of the local costume group are hard at work finishing their copy of a dress once worn by Lady Louisa de Rothschild (née Montefiore) in time for the opening of the new, volunteer-led Visitor Centre in Ridley’s Court, once the stables of Worth Park in Crawley.

This fabulous late Victorian mansion belonged to the leading English Zionist Sir Francis Montefiore. Visitors to the house in its heyday commented on the religious observance of its owners, strikingly apparent in the mezuzot that adorned each bedroom door, and the Montefiores’ lavish treatment of their servants, who were given a theatre and a ballroom for their exclusive use.

setting markings on the paper pattern

Setting markings on the paper pattern

The Jewish Country Houses project is proud to have supported this work, and it’s exciting for all for us to discover more about the history of this house and to see how dress-making can promote an understanding of the lived experience of past generations. The house was demolished in the 1960s, but the garden has recently been restored with HLF funding – and the Montefiore Institue in Three Bridges remains a pillar of local community life.