This is an educational community heritage project looking at how women lived in the Restoration period in London. The project aims to bring this period of history alive to people who would not normally have access to heritage projects, or believe they had an interest in history. The main aims of this project are to go out and about researching, learning and gathering information which will be brought back to Hackney to share with the wider community. Unity Arts will offer participants and the wider community access to specialist speakers. This project will culminate in both an exhibition/presentation at The Geffrye Museum, an end of project exhibition in Hackney open to all of the participants and the general public and the creation of a brand new Elizabeth Pepys Tour.
The project will initially research the Restoration period in general and then investigate specific areas. These are as follows:
- There will be a focus on the experiences of three different wives; Catherine of Braganza, Elizabeth Pepys and Margaret Blague. In looking at the lives of these three women will undoubtedly open the focus and encompass the view of their husbands, the mistresses and their world including Civil War, The Plague and The Great Fire of London.
- We will research the physical world of women at this time. We will understand and create a ladies bedchamber, small closet and “close-stool “place.
- We will deliver workshops in creating architectural model boxes aiming to capture interiors of the period. This will be delivered by University Students and a Professional Architect from the Architects’ Association. We already have a great deal of interest in these workshops form potential participants.
- We will recite some excerpts directly from the Diary of Samuel Pepys. This will be performed live using the bedchamber to help place this in a physical historical context.
- We will deliver resource and educational packs for schools, community centres and colleges.
- We will deliver an Elizabeth Pepys tour.
- We will deliver a series of trips to relevant sites of interest (e.g St Olave’s, Hart Street and The National Portrait Gallery) and specialist speakers giving talks related to the period.
- We will deliver a detailed exhibition and presentation of the life and times of women in the mid 1600`s.