Regency Garden Party

Sunday 16 July 2017

“We saw the most extraordinary garden in the world … in short quite a fairyland” (Cecilia Ridley, 1839). Visit the Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth on Sunday 16th July 2017 and enjoy a magnificent Regency Garden Party celebrating Lord Ongley’s Swiss Garden, which was created in the 1820’s in the Swiss Picturesque style.

Visitors can enjoy a display of Regency dances and join in with several dance sessions taking place throughout the afternoon. Musicians will be playing authentic Regency music and families can enjoy a selection Regency activities in our craft area. Potton Players will be back this year, acting out short scenes from Jane Austen novels.

Visitors are encouraged to come in Regency style dress!

Refreshments will be available to purchase in the Restaurant throughout the day, alternatively you can bring your own picnic.

Regency Dancing

The dance and music for today’s event is the result of the collaboration of Barbara Segal, Mike Ruff and Deborah Chalmers.

Barbara Segal is a specialist in early dance, from the 15th-19th centuries, as teacher, performer and dance historian. She regularly teaches Regency dancing to the Hampshire Regency Dancers and the Oxford Historical Dance Society, and has conducted numerous events where she has taught and encouraged the general public to take part.

Mike Ruff is a musician and dance teacher and one of his passions is English Country Dancing through 500 years od history. He is Director of the educational charity Tradamis who provide training and resources for teachers and schools. Currently he is working on a number of projects involving dance, music & song with various museums and festivals.


What did people wear in Regency Times? Did status and class affect fashion? Who were the style leaders of the day?

Dress historian Ann Wise offers a 30 minute glimpse into this intriguing period using ‘live’ models and original illustrations of the period. (Costumed visitors may find themselves part of the talk!)

Ann has been immersed in the world of dress history for over 25 years ever since specialising in the subject as part of a degree in Design History at Brighton University.

Since she graduated Ann has had the privilege of managing two nationally important collections of costume and textiles; first at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery and later at the Warner Textile Archive in Braintree. Ann is still working in the Museum and Heritage sector and also gives talks on a wide variety of dress and social history topics around the country

Barbara Segal, who is one of the two dance teachers for the day, has amassed a large collection of historical costumes for performance purposes. For her being as historically accurate as possible (and practical) is important so audiences can see the dances as they would have been. The costume she will be wearing was made for her by Ian Chipperfield, one of the country’s experts, who works with various museums for their costume needs.

Timetable of Activities (all in marquee)

Regency Music – String Quartet 11.45 – 12.30
Regency Dance Workshop 12.35 – 13.20
Regency Music – String Quartet 13.30 – 14.15
Talk: A Peek into the Regency Wardrobe 14.30 – 15.15
A Regency Dance, with live music 15.15 – 16.30

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