Coifs, caps, hats and hair

Saturday 14 October 2017


The course

An introduction to centuries of working womens’ headgear in England  – from headrails and wimples, to coifs and caps, hats and bonnets. We will look at the reasons for covering the hair – female modesty, religious proscription or simple practicality? How did the materials used change over the centuries? Which ages thought it safe to wash hair, which didn’t? What did we use before shampoo? With lots of recreated examples for people to try on.

The tutor

Lesley Parker is a freelance historic interpreter, with a particular interest in domestic life and food in the past. She has previously worked and taught courses as a member of the Interpretation team at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. She has extensive experience in interpreting a range of historical periods. Previously she worked at Fishbourne Roman Palace and she taught history at secondary level.

Participant information

Places are limited to 8 people.
Please bring a pen and paper with you. It is advisable to wear layers as the historic buildings can be cool.


£60 per person, including tuition, teas and coffees.
The Museum café will be open for lunch-time snacks or alternatively participants can bring their own packed lunch.

The Museum

The Weald & Downland Living Museum has over 45 historic building exhibits. It is also home to the award winning and innovative Downland Gridshell, which houses a conservation workshop and artefact store, and is also used for many practical courses. The Museum runs a full programme of courses in historic building conservation and traditional rural trades and crafts, along with MSc programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation validated by the University of York. Please telephone for further details.