Exhibition of Needlework at St Andrews, Little Massingham



Exhibition information

The Mary Dowell Needlework Sampler and Ann Seppings Norfolk Daring Sampler.

In early September, St Andrew’s Church, Little Massingham, Norfolk will be exhibiting a huge 41 foot, exquisitely colourful needlework sampler - known as the Mary Dowell “Visitors” Sampler.

This sampler was made by Mary Dowell nee Brereton. Mary was the granddaughter of Anna Margaretta Brereton who made the world famous Brereton bed hangings, now part of the Norfolk Museum Service collection. The sampler, took more than 45 years to complete, there are four hundred individual pieces, incorporating almost a 1,000 motifs sewn into a continuous colourful strip 20 inches wide by 41 feet long.

Also on display will be Ann Seppings nee Brereton’s small “Norfolk Darning Sampler”. Ann Seppings was the first cousin of Mary Dowell’s grandparents, John and Anna Margaretta Brereton of Brinton, Norfolk. It will be the first time these two pieces of work have been displayed together.

Ann Seppings nee Brereton was born in 1756 at Brinton, Norfolk. Her sampler was made in or around 1765 when Ann was aged 9. Ann was the mother of Thomas Seppings who married his cousin, Mary, daughter of John and Anna Margaretta Brereton. A few years ago this sampler was for sale in America, having been taken there by persons unknown. It is now back safely in the ownership of the Brereton family.

This exhibition will help raise funds for St Andrew’s, Little Massingham. The church was targeted by thieves who stole all the lead from the roof. The congregation has a huge task to raise funds to repair and restore the roof, the cost will be in the region of £150,000.

The exhibition will be held at St Andrew’s Church, Little Massingham on 8th September 2018 between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm.

St.Andrews Little Massingham
St. Andrews, Little Massingham
Breretons buried at Little Massingham
Brereton Family Memorial at Little Massingham