An audience with Lady Katherine

Travel back in time to meet “Lady” Katherine as she reminisces about her life in Tudor Devon.  Katherine is visiting Mistress Hurst to admire the fine improvements she has made at St Nicholas’ Priory.

Born into a well connected Devon family Katherine Champernowne married twice and had five sons, four of whom were knighted.  Her long life spanned the reigns of six Tudor monarchs and saw sweeping social, religious and political change in England.  Members of her family were close to the febrile world of the court and her most famous sons – Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh – were in the vanguard of exploration and the colonisation of the Americas.   Katherine spent the last 30 years of her life just a stone’s throw from St Nicholas Priory in a house close by the Palace Gate, in Exeter.

Join Katherine as she talks of her life and times.  She may even allow a little peep into some of the secrets of her wardrobe!!

Biographical note

After a career in the Civil Service in Whitehall, Rosemary Griggs is a now a Costumed History Interpreter, assisting the National Trust and local museums bring women from Devon’s past to life.  In support of the National Trust, she gives talks to groups all over Devon about their lives and the clothes they wore.  She has researched extensively into her characters, and has a particular interest in the Champernowne family.

Rosemary has also studied Tudor and Elizabethan clothes, and makes her own costumes.  She recently completed a course on The History of Royal Fashion with Historic Royal Palaces and Glasgow University.

Advance tickets for this event, £5, can be purchased online from or by telephone on 01392 665885 (Exeter Tourist Information Centre).

Please note that St Nicholas Priory is a medieval building and the room in which the talk is taking place is not wheelchair-accessible.

This event is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Jun 26 2019





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