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Royal School of Needlework

The International Centre of Excellence for the Art of Hand Embroidery

The International Centre of Excellence for the Art of Hand Embroidery

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery. 

The RSN was founded in 1872 and has been based at Hampton Court Palace for the last 37 years, teaching hand embroidery in its Studios and opening its Embroidery Studio doors to the public for exhibitions. The RSN Shop offers a huge range of embroidery kits, gifts and equipment and is located beside the East Front Garden Gates.

Although not usually accessible to visitors, the RSN is integral to the Palace and therefore opens its doors for special events throughout the year. 

The RSN's exhibitions will open your eyes to the stunning world of hand embroidery, displaying pieces from its historical archive and collection through to contemporary work created by its current students and graduates.


Selected events all year round

Ticketing information

Tickets to all events can be booked on the Royal School of Needlework website.

Separate ticket

Visit the RSN website

Special Display

Tales of Textiles: The RSN Collection in Focus

Join the unmissable exhibition 'Tales of Textiles: The RSN Collection in Focus,' from 25 September 2024 until June 2025. Discover key pieces from the Royal School of Needlework's new Collections website, launched in April 2024.

The RSN will celebrate this launch by curating a fascinating display that showcases many of the first 100 objects that have been digitised and catalogued on the website in this special exhibition.

Experience beautiful Embroidery

The RSN is home to over 10,000 unique and priceless pieces that capture the passion for embroidery throughout history. From intricate hand-embroidered artwork on clothes and textiles, to beautiful designs and the RSN's documented development through papers, books and photos. 

See Fascinating Objects on Display

The exhibition will highlight the life of many of the digitised pieces, providing an opportunity to see them up close and hear their stories. Objects on display will span three centuries and tell a story of wear and use, protection and care, tradition and innovation, and information about stitchers, both domestic and professional. 

Exhibits, collected and donated from all over the world, will include an embroidered mirror frame dated 1653, a Georgian man's waistcoat, and a late 19th century RSN-designed cushion cover.

If you're a Historic Royal Palaces member you may wish to attend an RSN Tour and spend the rest of the day exploring Hampton Court Palace and the gardens. Non-members will need to purchase a ticket if they wish to separately visit the palace and grounds.  

Important Information

The exhibition is open on set days and each session is restricted to a maximum of 15 visitors. Individual, Curator and Group tickets are available, with prices starting from £25 per ticket. The Curator talks at the event will be led by RSN Curator, Isabella Rosner. 

The event will take place in the RSN Embroidery Studio at Hampton Court Palace. Visit the RSN website for further information and to book the exhibition. Early booking is recommended.

Book on the RSN website
Surround embroidered with a historical pattern with people, a castle and flowers

Embroidered Mirror Surround dated 1653 © Royal School of Needlework.

Unstitched waistcoat with a floral design

Unstitched Georgian Man's Waistcoat 1740's © Royal School of Needlework.

Cushion cover with a nature inspired pattern that features birds, flowers, leaves and more

Free Blackwork Design Cushion Cover made late 19th century © Royal School of Needlework.

Royal School of Needlework studio map

How to get to Hampton Court Palace and the Royal School of Needlework studio. Visitors need to be on a pre-booked tour to gain access.

RSN logo


  • Tours and talks

Audio Guide Tour

Explore the palace as a film set with our Film and TV Location tour. Hold the stories of Hampton Court Palace in your hands with an audio guide tour.

  • Available
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
Learn more
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Hampton Court Gardens

Take time to explore and relax in these world-renowned gardens and find our free entry Garden Open Days dates.

  • Open in line with palace opening hours.
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
Learn more
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Home Park and The Long Water

Explore 750 acres of wilderness in Home Park - an appointed Site of Special Scientific Interest. Observe ancient trees and rarities from the natural world.

  • Daily 07:00 – 18:30
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Free
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