Dress discovered in Broadfield Court attic gives glimpse of history

Textile conservator Eve Finney (left) and Alexandra James of Broadfield Court with the dress.

Textile conservator Eve Finney (left) and Alexandra James of Broadfield Court with the dress.

First published in News Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy News Editor

BROADFIELD Court in Bodenham is known as an historical landmark in the county but its owners did not expect to find an exciting link to the past just by having a look in the attic.

Home to Mark and Alexandra James, the venue is full of treasures, but it was when Alexandra ventured into the attic that she stumbled upon something that made her take a closer inspection.

“There was a little bit of lace I could see poking out of this old box and I immediately knew this was something special,” said Alexandra.

After removing the item from the box, Alexandra realised she had found an old wedding dress, belonging possibly to a previous resident of Broadfield Court.

Local historians delved into the past to piece together the tale of the dress and even discovered its former owner.

The dress belonged to Marianne Amy Haywood, of Salford Priors, Warwickshire, who married John Helme of Broadfield Court in December 1869.

Marianne died in July 1879 but her dress is testament of their special day and the style at the time.

Broadfield Court will display the newly cleaned dress at its Boutique Wedding Fayre on May 26 in aid of Home-Start Herefordshire.

The charity is close to Alexandra’s heart. She is president of the local branch and is keen to raise funds and spread the word about the work staff and volunteers have done for families over the past 31 years.

Home-Start Herefordshire supports families with children up until the age of 19 who may be experiencing difficulties.

Families receive one-toone support from a volunteer trained to offer another pair of hands, a chance to talk and reassurance.

Every volunteer has to be a parent themselves, or have parenting experience, and be able to give between two to three hours a week to visit a family in need.

The wedding fair will see up to 30 local exhibitors set up at Broadfield Court, showcasing the venue which dates back to 1086 and its extensive formal gardens.

Doors open from 11am to 4pm and guests are charged £2 entry which will go to Home-Start.

Comments (1)

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12:40pm Wed 22 May 13

littlewhitebull says...

Is this anything to do with Bobby's Gran?
Is this anything to do with Bobby's Gran? littlewhitebull
  • Score: 0

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