At Dromoland Castle
Charlotte & Co is an exciting new boutique, celebrating Dromoland Castle’s rich connection to textiles which began 100 years ago.
Named after Lady Charlotte, wife of the 4th Baronet Edward O’Brien, the pioneering and practical chatelaine set up an embroidery school in Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare in 1822
to empower the local women. Embroidery and lace-making were much in demand at the time and her school proved an enormous success, training 400 women and girls across a decade.
Their specialty was whitework, a type of satin-stitch embroidery, using white thread on white fabric. The Embroidery School closed in 1830, as many pupils emigrated to America,
using their newly acquired skills to earn their fare for passage. The satin stitch which she taught them became known as Lady O’Brien work and some of her designs still exist today.
The embroidery school was started up again in the 1840s under Lady Charlotte’s daughter, Grace and again, decades later, by the wife of Charlotte’s grandson. Inspired by some of Charlotte’s old patterns,
Florence Vere O’Brien set up lace-making classes in Ennis, reviving a declining business and receiving critical acclaim at the Chicago (1893) and St Louis (1904) World Fairs.
Today, our Charlotte & Co. boutique honours Lady Charlotte’s altruistic spirit while celebrating the very best of contemporary Irish design. Each beautifully made piece reflects Ireland’s rich tradition of craftsmanship and creativity. Drawing inspiration from our past, we’re proud to play our part in helping to sustain Irish design and craft for future generations.