Royal School of Needlework

Celebrating 150 Years!

Celebrating 150 Years!

When

Open various dates from June 2022 - March 2023


Ticketing information

Visitors can access RSN exhibitions with their Hampton Court Palace entry ticket.

Studio Tours:

Booking available soon. Please note that visitors will need to pre-book their place for studio tours on the RSN website.


Included in palace admission (members go free)

Buy Hampton Court Palace tickets Visit the RSN website

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery. Founded in 1872, the RSN is celebrating its 150th anniversary, with the last 35 years based at Hampton Court Palace.

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.

Exhibitions and tours

RSN Degree Graduate Show, BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery

Date: Monday 13 June – Friday 17 June 

Time: 11.00 - 15.00

Location: RSN Degree Studios

The RSN delivers the only full time BA (Hons) Degree programme specialising in hand embroidery, and the three-year full time course is based at Hampton Court Palace, a very unique experience for the students. The course inspires students to develop their career in hand embroidery and to design and make contemporary textile work using their knowledge of hand embroidery practice.

During this week-long exhibition, visitors will view the final major projects of the 2022 degree graduates, across fashion, interiors and textile art. The graduates will be on hand to discuss their projects and to inspire the next generation of hand embroiderers.

Please contact [email protected] for further information.

A RSN Degree Student at Hampton Court Palace in the Royal School of Needlework studio at her desk.
Needlework on a canvas, showing a sunset over a river.

RSN Certificate & Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery and RSN Future Tutor Graduates’ Exhibition

Date: Monday 04 July – Friday 17 July

Time: 10.00 - 16.00

Location: RSN Embroidery Studios, next to the RSN Shop

The RSN’s Certificate & Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery (C&D) is a flexible course to suit everyone’s stage in life, whether it is for a career or a hobby. The course is taught across the UK in Hampton Court Palace, Bristol, Rugby, Durham and Glasgow, and internationally in Japan and North America, as well as online, and students can start at any time during the academic year.

The RSN Future Tutors Programme (FTP) is specifically designed for those who want a career in teaching hand embroidery techniques. It is a three year full-time course based at Hampton Court Palace, which trains students in a wide variety of hand embroidery skills to the highest standard. Students learn teaching theory as well as gain practical and commercial experience in the RSN Embroidery Studio.

Please contact enquiries@royal-needlework.org.uk for further information.

A Girl’s Education in Stitch

Date: Tuesday 19 July 2022 – March, 2023

Time: 11.00 and 14.00

Location: RSN Embroidery Studios, next to the RSN Shop

In July 2022, the RSN will open its first onsite exhibition at Hampton Court Palace in three years, ‘A Girl’s Education in Stitch’. This exhibition will demonstrate the variety of work stitched by girls as part of their education and will feature fascinating objects from the RSN Collection and Archive.

In the early days of formal education, embroidery substituted for reading, writing and maths, for example map samplers on which girls learned writing and geography as well as embroidery. Moving through to the 1900s, dressmaking became part of the curriculum through miniature outfits from knickers to pinafores.

Objects on display will include notebooks from students as they learnt dressmaking and samplers, ranging from band samplers to map and darning samplers from the 18th and 19th centuries. From the 20th century, we will focus on the national needlework scheme and other ways in which children were taught to stitch along with examples of work from girls across the UK.

Tours are held in the RSN Embroidery Studios, which look on to the Palace East Front Gardens, for one week of every month (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays), and bookings are through the RSN website. Visitors can attend a Guided Tour, a Talk & Tour or a Curators Tour.

Book a tour on the RSN website Learn more about the RSN
Needlework from 1806 from the Royal School of Needlework, showing details of birds and flora.
RSN logo
A visitor uses the DVG in Base Court at Hampton Court Palace
Tours and talks

Hold the stories of Hampton Court Palace in your hands and experience history where it happened with an audio guide tour.

Available

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Aerial view of a formal garden with green lawns on either side of a main path running towards the baroque palace. A fountain runs in the foreground at the centre of the path
Things to see

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

Open

Hampton Court Palace

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A deer drinking water in Home Park
Things to see

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

Open daily 07.00 - 20.00

Hampton Court Palace

Free

Embroidered and hand painted Tudor rose, displayed in a wooden frame.

Shop Tudor gifts

Browse through our Tudor Collection to find a whole range of products based on the Tudors.

Prices from £9.99

Close up of a Henry VIII hanging decoration in the Henry Shop

Shop Hampton Court Palace Gifts

Our gifts and souvenirs are are inspired by over 500 years of history from Hampton Court Palace.

From £4.99

Selection of plates and cutlery on a blanket

Shop picnicware

Enjoy fine dining outdoors with our magnificent picnic hampers. Discover our luxury hampers and exquisite picnic blankets.

From £19.99