As delicate as cobwebs and intricate as Celtic knotwork, Irish lace is needlework turned into poetry. The best place in Ireland to find an opulent display is the Sheelin Lace Museum in County Fermanagh Northern Ireland.
The Sheelin Lace Museum is a treasure chest of exquisite handmade Irish lace beautifully displayed in a small thatched shop about four miles from Enniskillen. Owner Rosemary Cathcart has been collecting rare examples of Irish crochet lace, Limerick lace, Youghal needle lace, Carrickmacross and Innishmacsaint lace for over twenty years.
Most of the lace dates from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century as lace-making in Ireland was stagnant during the famine years. If you are not interested in intricate handcrafted fabrics you can probably breeze through the shop and museum in fifteen minutes but those who appreciate fine art will be entranced by the painstakingly intricate detail of a lost handicraft from another era and may find themselves browsing for hours among the Aladdin’s cave of wonders.
Over 400 items are artistically showcased including wedding dresses and veils, baby bonnets and christening gowns, bed linens, tablecloths, collars, handkerchiefs, parasols, fans, shawls, and anything and everything made of lace. This is the best exhibit of lace in Ireland and it is impossible to see everything in one visit. The shop is a Victorian extravaganza dripping in lace, crystal chandeliers and pearls, which sells jewelry, lace, hats, fans and many unique items you will not find anywhere else.
The museum-quality items are expensive as should be expected for one-of-a-kind objects. Address: Bellanaleck, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, BT92 2BA. Open year round Mon-Sat. Phone: 028 6634-8052. Web: sheelinlace.com Email: email@example.com
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