Thursday, July 12, 2012

Living in Silk Exhibition, Castle Museum Nottingham.

The oldest inn in England is tucked beneath Nottingham Castle's walls. Rooms are carved from the bedrock - a sprouted seed caught and long ago threw out roots

further along there is a terrace of doors leading underground

guarded by a bronze Robin Hood.

A raised passageway leads to the castle entrance

and up towards the keep

and from there look down from where I'd come

or look south to the distant hills and the oldest rock in the land

lies under Charnwood - a forest once contiguous with Sherwood where

those outlaws hid.

Then, at last, my goal - the city museum and art gallery

- where, to celebrate the handing over of the Olympics from China to the UK there is a special exhibition of silk from the National Silk Museum of China in Hangzhou.

This was a place I managed to miss despite staying there a week in 2009 (a confusion of city on my part) and I was thinking I might go back, but how much easier to find that the museum has come to me. So I stood and gawped for hours at tiny pieces of cloth 5,000 years old and wondered at the sophistication of a people who wove not just stripes but managed tiny patterns in this fabric made from insect spit. And heard too an interesting talk by Dr Mary M Brooks who is a silk conservator at the University of Southampton.


Anonymous Debra Hamel said...

I love these pictures of Nottingham, particularly of the inn. So is the inn inside the walls or just outside?

Fri Jul 13, 06:46:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you! The inn is just outside. From what I've read a lot of this sort of thing went on in earlier times - people 'borrowing' walls of castles and churches as one side of their own buildings.

Fri Jul 13, 10:02:00 pm  

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