Feathers, Furs and Wedding Dresses at Eskbank House

The Feathers, Furs and Wedding Dresses exhibition on show at Eskbank House and Museum until Sunday 27 September 2015 has revealed some interesting and historic items not to be missed.

“What fascinating stories are hidden away in the Eskbank House storeroom,” said Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham. “It is amazing to see the animal furs, feather fans and all the children’s clothing, but for me, Ida Grey’s wedding gown is truly the star of this exhibition.”

The exhibition features a variety of clothing, accessories and other textiles from the Eskbank House collection. Along with the beautiful and delicate children’s, women’s and men’s clothing, is an unusual collection of fur and feather items that show the glamourous side of life in Lithgow.

The feature of this exhibition though is undoubtedly the wedding gown of Miss Ida Mary Grey, the granddaughter of Mr William Grey, who was married to Mr John Ashley on 26 August 1905 in St Paul’s Church of England, Lithgow.

The Lithgow Mercury reported on 28 August 1905 that:

The bride’s dress, which was most tastefully made, was much

admired. It consisted of white ivory silk, silk chiffon, appliqué and silk

ruchings. She wore a rich veil and coronet of orange blossoms, and carried a shower bouquet.”

Mrs Laurel Cameron (the great, great, great granddaughter of William Grey) was very excited to hear the dress was once again on display and tells the story of how the dress arrived at Eskbank House.

“Ida’s daughter Beryl Ashley kept it for close to 50 years and

passed it on to her cousin Marion Mathieson (nee Bellamy).  I was

having lunch with Marion back in 1988 and she mentioned that she

had looked after Beryl when she was in a nursing home in Sydney.

She told me she had this wedding dress and had no one to pass

it on to and thought that the Lithgow Historical Society may be

interested in it – and would probably be able to preserve it.

Marion passed away in 2005 and she would be absolutely

thrilled to think it has once again come to life in a Lithgow exhibition.”

(Mrs Laurel Cameron)

Miss Grey’s wedding dress and the rest of the textile collection are on display until Sunday 27 September 2015. The Eskbank House staff and volunteers are still undertaking research on these items so the community is asked to let them know if they have any information on items in the exhibition.

Providing a range of programs celebrating the cultural diversity and rich heritage of our local government area is part of Council’s Caring for our Community strategies in the Community Strategic Plan 2026.


















Mayor Maree Statham
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259

Wendy Hawkes
Cultural Development Officer
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259


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