Decorative & Fine Arts Society

You are here:- Home > Heritage Volunteers

Heritage Volunteers

Members are encouraged to take the opportunity to work as volunteers in a range of interesting, local projects which support the conservation of our heritage.

Volunteering can be enormous fun. You learn new skills, meet and work with experts and make new friends. You do not need to be skilled in any of the project areas as support/training is always provided.

Ross-on-Wye DFAS is and has been very active with a number of projects; see below for further information. Please don't hesitate to contact the Heritage Volunteers' Secretary if you would like to learn more about any of them.

Park and Gardens Project at Abberley Hall

Within Abberley Hall School grounds there is a Pulham rock and water garden with a cascade, pools, grotto and some original planting. This is one of many created during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by four generations of the Pulham family. These rock and water gardens were constructed to provide a specialised habitat for ferneries, alpines and exotic plants from the east which so captured the enthusiasm of the Victorians and Edwardians.

The Abberley Hall Foundation, set up to conserve the house and garden, has invited Ross-on-Wye DFAS to help with the identification of the original planting scheme. Since June 2014 five Heritage Volunteers, together with David Whitehead from the Herefordshire Garden Trust, have been involved in photographing, identifying and recording over 150 plants and 49 trees. They have recently completed a report with recommendations for the garden.

Abberley Hall

Hereford Four Poster Bed

The Old House, Hereford

The Old House is a well preserved Jacobean building in the centre of Hereford, which was once part of "Butchers Row", and is the only remaining original building. It is part of the Hereford Museum and shows a picture of life in furniture and artefacts of what a merchant's house would have been like in that period. Crewel detail - Tree of Life
Ross-on-Wye DFAS were asked, in conjunction with Hereford DFAS and Malvern Hills DFAS, to make a set of bed hangings and bed cover for a four poster bed on display in the house. The curtains for the four poster bed will be in crewel wool in the bright natural dyed colours which would have been used at the time. Crewel detail - Bird
Crewel detail - Flower


Brockhampton Estate, Bromyard (National Trust)

The National Trust has asked us to design a wall hanging for a bedroom in the old half-timbered farm house on the Estate. It is to represent the sort of hanging a gentleman farmer who has aspirations and plans to build a grander mansion at some point, to establish himself in Society, might have commissioned. The period is late 1700s.

The hanging is being worked in crewel wool on linen twill and the design based on The Tree of Life with images of the domestic animals, farmed animals, fruit trees, and animals for hunting: wild boar and deer. It demonstrates a comfortable and successful way of life.


Hellens Crewel Work

Hellens Manor, Much Marcle

Ross-on-Wye DFAS has been working at Hellens for over fifteen years on the preservation of textiles in the house as well as embroidering Crewel work curtains for the Music Room.

The current project is for the design and making of canvas work chair covers for the White Dining Room. The design is based on the Tudor panelling in the room and illustrations from a Herbal found in the House. We have four Ross members working there, with members from Malvern Wells, led by Sally Ziesler who designed the covers.



Replica Costumes for the Soldiers of Gloucester Museum

In the Summer of 2014 the Soldiers of Gloucester Museum asked Ross-on-Wye DFAS for two World War replica costumes to be made for training purposes - one to represent a munitions factory girl, the other a nurse. We were very fortunate indeed that one member who volunteered had previously worked as a pattern maker. Soon the patterns were produced and two other members painstakingly sewed and machined the costumes.

The curator was delighted with the end results and they have been used as focal points in workshops on "Womens' Work in World War 1" at the Gloucester City Museum.

© The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies