Wemyss has a castle, but also a School of Needlework, established in 1877 on the model of the Royal School of Needlework and continuously maintained by the Wemyss family. Unlike the RSN, however, the target client group for Wemyss was the daughters of farmers and miners with a specific aim of developing skills to support local employment and industry.
Dora Wemyss, the founder of the school, was also a supporter of the local pottery industry. She convinced the London pottery dealer, Thomas Goodes, to distribute Wemyss pottery. She also ran an orphanage and school, sponsoring orphan girls to the needlework school.
The Wemyss family have, in recent years redeveloped the school and its store of designs into a modern needlework business that includes a museum and shop, classes, standardised kits, supplies, restoration services and bespoke kits and designs.
The museum has a wonderful collection of pieces, some from the Palace, and also hundreds of designs used by the school over time.
We were treated to coffee and biscuits and about an hour and a half of the curator's time. I found it hugely interesting and engaging. We were allowed to take general photos but not photos of specific pieces - to protect the designs.
I had looked at a couple of their kits online before I came. They are even more appealing in the flesh. A couple of them are suited to interested children as well as beginner adults. I intend to buy them online rather than fill my suitcase.(http://www.wemyssneedlework.co.uk).
From Weymms we went to Falkland Palace, one of the favourite homes of the Stuart's, and in particular, Mary, Queen of Scots, who hunted and played tennis
The name derives from 'falcon' - as this was a prime site for falconry and one of the reasons for the popularity of the original castle and subsequent palace.
I really enjoyed the outside of the palace, the stonework and gardens.
I happily took myself for a walk around the town
Before dinner we had a lecture by Naomi Tarrant, retired curator of Costume and Textiles at the National Museum of Scotland,on the Textile Collections of the National Museum of Scotland. Naomi is the author of numerous books on historical costume (http://m.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=Naomi+Tarrant).
Tomorrow we leave Edinburgh at 8.30 am for Aberdeen, and another adventure.