Wedding Dress of Notable Family on Display at Cannon Hall Museum

7th July 2022

The wedding dress of Miss Mary Joan Vernon-Wentworth of Wentworth Castle worn for her marriage to Mr Frank Huntsman, West Retford Hall has gone on display for the very first time at Cannon Hall Museum.

Recently acquired by Barnsley Museums, the exquisite dress has been conserved and can now be viewed in the stunning 18th Century Georgian Country House which houses a wonderful collection of fine and decorative arts.

A stunning example of bridal fashion during the 19th Century, the gown was described in The Chronicle at the time as:

“A dress of rich ivory stripped satin, covered with Brussels lace flowers, with a train and corsage of French brocade satin, edged with ostrich feathers and orange blossom”

Visitors can see the beautiful historic gown in the dining room where there also hangs a painting of her ancestor William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Stratford in Peer’s robes by Thomas Bardwell (1704-1767). William died without issue in 1791 and was succeeded by the son of his first cousin, Frederick William Thomas Vernon who added Wentworth to his surname upon his inheritance. Frederick was the grandfather of Mary Vernon-Wentworth.  

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “Cannon Hall and its outstanding collections brings the past to life in a truly wonderful way. By visiting, people experience the grandeur, lifestyle and passions of the Spencer Stanhope family and those who worked for them. We are delighted to display this very special dress which showcases the strong links between another of Barnsley’s top attractions, Wentworth Castle Gardens and the stories that connects them.

Wentworth Castle Gardens is managed through the unique partnership of Barnsley Museums, National Trust and Northern College who are working together to create a place for everyone.

The wedding dress will be on display at Cannon Hall Museum until December 2022. Entry to the museum is FREE, but donations to Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust are always welcome.

Wedding Dress of Notable Family on Display at Cannon Hall Museum