Category Archives: Lorina Bulwer

Lorina’s Legacy Exhibition…number one

Both groups visited the first of our series of summer exhibitions of their work today at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum near Dereham, Norfolk. The work is displayed next to part of the sampler that Lorina herself made. This is a source of pride for us to be linked with our original inspiration.


The lighting in the room is kept deliberately dark to protect the sampler from fading though exposure to light. This image catches the women’s work with the reflection of a backlit display of the whole sampler.


We had a fantastic visit, with a chance to see what workhouse life was like and imagine what Lorina’s experience might have been and the opportunity to wander at will and explore what else the museum and farm have to offer. Our thanks go to Rachel Duffield and the other museum staff for such a warm welcome and our guided tour.

Lorina’s Legacy Exhibition

We are delighted to announce that all the work from the Lorina’s Legacy Project is going on a touring exhibition this summer.

From Saturday July 8th to Thursday 20th July 2017, inclusive, the work will be displayed alongside Lorina’s work at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse near East Dereham, Norfolk.

After then it moves to the libraries in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, details to follow.

Finished work

We are gathering all the finished work together for a series of exhibitions. We have a fantastic set of pieces which reflect the thoughts and feelings of our group members.

Those whose work isn’t quite ready are going to finish their stitching outside the sessions.


We are enough. Children need love not hate. Family = everything to me. Respect equality

follow your dreams

Forever young; follow your dreams


Lorina’s work meets ours

Rachel Duffield from Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum came to visit with a replica of one of Lorina’s samplers so that we could have a look at it close up and handle it. Seeing the replica gives a real sense of the scale of Lorina’s work and the time and effort it took to make.

Rachel talked to us about what life would have been like in the workhouse.

We put our work alongside to compare. It felt special to see our work with the work that inspired us.

Lorina Bulwer plus

More work is reaching completion. We will have some beautiful and expressive pieces for the exhibitions.


A word about Lorina

Lorina Bulwer is the inspiration for our project. Her stitched samplers, the outpouring of anger at the injustice she felt had been done to her are our starting point. Lorina would have had little privacy but managed to express herself by stitching her words onto long samplers. Sometimes incoherent, nevertheless highly expressive, they are a personal testimony of one woman’s experience of workhouse life .

Lorina was  was incarcerated in the lunatic wing of Great Yarmouth workhouse for several years at the beginning of the twentieth century. She was committed by her brother after her parents died.

We are working with two groups of women and are using printing and other techniques to create samplers on which we will stitch our feelings.

Lorina’s Legacy


We continue to be inspired by Lorina Bulwer’s sampler; so much so that our latest project, working with two groups of women, extends the work we started last year.


Here is a glimpse of the prints from the groups’ first week – stunningly beautiful work.

Our work space was limited and we dried the prints in the lobby. We had a great time getting in touch with our creative energy.

We made rubbings as well as prints.

Some even got as far as making decisions about the layout of the squares for stitching next time .

thanking Lorina

Today we marked the end of ‘Letter to Myself’, the stitching project inspired by Lorina Bulwer, by visiting her grave and leaving a stitched message of thanks.

lorina 12.JPG

Some of us had written personal messages on the fabric.

lorina 11.jpg

Such a seemingly insignificant grave for someone who has been in our thoughts a lot over the past few months. We hope our gift shows that Lorina is still remembered, and her work celebrated.

lorina 13.JPG

Visiting the Lorina Bulwer Sampler

Today we made our long awaited visit to the study centre at Norwich Castle Museum for our exclusive visit to see the Lorina Bulwer sampler. Many thanks to Lisa Little, Curatorial Assistant for Costume and Textiles for Norfolk Museums Service, who showed us the sampler and told us about Lorina’s life and the origins and history of the sampler.


It was very moving to see the real sampler close up.


We photographed our work with the sampler.


We are intending to place our ‘memorial’ to Lorina at her grave in the new year.


Interested in knowing more about Lorina? Here’s the link to the blog from the Frayed exhibition which was at Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth in 2013-14.