Hollytrees Cushions

8 Mar 2021

By Megan Fowler, Visitor Information Assistant and Liz Tregenza, Collections and Learning Curator

Hollytrees Museum may currently be shut owing to COVID-19, however lots of work is still going on behind the scenes. In this blog post we are going to introduce an exciting NEW project between Colchester Museums and the Visitor Information Centre – and there’s a chance for people to get involved too!


An dark red cushion fills a window seat. The cover appears very loose and the fabric faded on the top


As you can see, our window cushions in Hollytrees were showing their age (and not in a good way!) They were faded, sagging and in need of repair. After discussion between staff at the Visitor Information Centre and the Collections and Learning team we decided to create a new set. Rather than these cushions being simply functional, we wanted to create visually striking, decorative pieces that reflected the amazing history and heritage of Colchester.


Six long rectangular cushions laid out on a table. They have been covered in a plain white fabric


After some research, we decided to base our new cushions on church kneeler style tapestry. We went with this form of decoration because it is hard wearing yet beautiful, and is traditional but timeless – like Hollytrees herself! This style of tapestry creates firm, bright cushions that can last up to 100 years.

We will be creating six cushions, each with their own original pattern, created by Megan. These designs will include recognisable buildings or scenes from Colchester and one references our most famous local nursery rhyme!


A line drawing sketch of Colchester Castle laid over graph paper


Watch this space for updates on our progress, as well as details of how you could get involved!


Where will your adventure start?