The Lincoln Cathedral Gown

The Lincoln Cathedral Gown


This gown has been lovingly created to honour the wonderful life of St Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln (1186-1200), and the man responsible for the rebuilding of Lincoln Cathedral after it was ruined by the great earthquake of 1185.

Perhaps with the passing of years St Hugh’s memory has diminished, but in the cathedral, which he helped to build with his own hands, he will be remembered for both his strength as well as his tender love for the weak and helpless of the earth. It seemed therefore natural to take inspiration from him when creating a christening gown for Lincoln.

The design has been inspired by St Hugh’s closest friend, that of a white swan. It contracted a lasting friendship for the saint, even guarding him while he slept. He himself took inspiration from the swan when designing the roof vaults of St Hugh’s Choir. They are said to replicate the bird stretching its half-folded wings ready to fly.

The gown’s skirt has also been inspired by this concept; the cotton lawn undergown represents the body of the swan, with the fine organza overgown being the wings. Both are joined together by cotton robings, which are delicately edged in satin buttonhole stitch to replicate the ribs of the roof vaulting.

The panels of embroidery and beadwork on the bodice front and the large rose on the centre skirt panel replicate some of the Cathedral’s marvellous stonework. The short, puff sleeves are made in cotton lawn and covered with organza. All exposed edges have been sealed with tiny French seams. The finished gown has a wonderful delicate aura of grace and beauty, so reflecting of the qualities of St Hughs’s swan.

Complimentary personalised bibs and godmother handkerchiefs are also available.