Dress made from pages of novel Rebecca goes on show at oldest continuously inhabited house in England
The head designer at the Ballet Rambert, Michael Howells, has designed a spectacular gown, which visitors to Port Eliot, the oldest continuously inhabited house in England, will discover is made entirely from hundreds of pages of Daphne du Maurier's classic, Rebecca.
The slightly eerie room set is intended to evoke the night of the costume ball in that other Cornish mansion, Manderley. Port Eliot, which was partly remodelled by Sir John Soane, in a garden by Humphrey Repton that involved moving a river, claims continuous occupation at least since 937 AD, when Augustinian monks moved there, and has been the home of the St Germans family for the last 500 years.
It admitted the public for the first time only in 2008, and now opens for 100 days each year, partly to allow access to a remarkable collection of family portraits. The Manderley scene is in the Big Dining Room, never used for meals, not least because it is so far from the kitchens that all food would be icy when served.