Coifs, caps, hats and hair

Sunday 14 October 2018



The course

How did cosmetics first become fashionable and how were they made? Learn how to use ‘rats’ in your hair and why a high forehead was the expected medieval image. With ‘hands on’ experience using an extensive range of headwear from the Medieval through to Victorian periods. A basic introduction to centuries of womens’ headwear 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? Participants will make hairspray, face cream and simple cosmetics from the Elizabethan age!

The tutor

Catherine (Flower) Guilder RGN, BA (Hons) MPhil. Publications include: Hampshire Studies Archeological Journal 2009 ” Religious Observance on board the Mary Rose: Some Observations

Catherine has worked with the Weald & Downland Museum as a historical Interpreter for many years and appeared in historical television programs such as BBC four’s Christina of Codicote, The Mud men, The History of the Home and BBC2 Ready Steady Cook. She also appears in primary schools ‘Cook It’ project in the historic cookbook series. Web site: and for more information

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. We will be using herbs and oils to make items and applying them to the face, in case of any allergies please let the Tutor know at the beginning of the course.

Fee and refreshments

£60 per person, including tuition, teas and coffees. Please let the Museum know of any special dietary requirements.  The Museum café will be open for lunch-time snacks or alternatively participants can bring their own packed lunch.