Sandringham: Norfolk knitter recreates Queen's estate in wool

By Charlotte Ball
BBC News, Norfolk

Published
image captionMargaret Seaman used much of her time during the Covid-19 lockdown to work on the knitted model

An homage to one of the Queen's estates has been recreated in wool by a dedicated 92-year-old knitter.

Margaret Seaman, from Great Yarmouth, spent two years crafting her version of Sandringham House and other buildings.

She said it was "impossible to tell" how much wool was in the piece but she worked on it "on average about 10 to 12 hours a day".

The finished item is 18ft (5.5m) by 6ft (1.8m) and features in the Norfolk Makers' Festival at The Forum, Norwich.

"After I lost my husband I joined a knitting group, and it all snowballed from there," Ms Seaman said.

"And then I just thought, if I can think of something to do that we can show to people, and raise money for a charity, it would be something worthwhile doing. That's how it all started."

The exhibition piece is raising money for three Norfolk hospitals and can be viewed until 11 June.

image captionMargaret Seaman started work on the knitted estate in 2019 and it became a lockdown project
image captionIt first went on show in 2020 as a work in progress but the finished product now includes the estate's church and stables
image captionMs Seaman and her daughter, Tricia Wilson, said it was "impossible to know" how much wool had been used in the homage to the estate
image caption"I've got absolutely no idea how many hours it took, there's not very many days I haven't been knitting," Ms Seaman said. Her daughter added: "She's up half the night as well!"
image captionMs Seaman started knitting for her children when they were young, and then knitted for her grandchildren, but said those projects were "nothing serious"
image caption"I just thought, if I can think of something to do that we can show to people, and raise money for a charity, it would be something worthwhile doing," said the avid knitter
image captionThe display is raising money for The Raise a Rainbow Appeal at the James Paget University Hospital Charity, The Boudicca Appeal at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and the Maternity Bereavement Suite Appeal at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn

Sandringham in five:

  • Sandringham House was built in 1870 by The Prince and Princess of Wales
  • It has been the private home for four generations of British monarchs
  • It is currently used as a retreat for the Queen and the royal family
  • Sandringham Royal Park spans almost 243 hectares
  • What is now the lawn to the west of the house was ploughed and farmed during World War Two as part of the Dig For Victory campaign
image captionMs Seaman's past projects have also had a hospital theme, she previously created a woollen "NHS Knittingale" in homage to the Covid-19 Nightingale hospitals
image captionMs Seaman said she had been looking forward to getting back to the Makers' Festival adding her favourite part was talking to people and hearing about their lives
image caption"It's always rewarding to see the people enjoying themselves looking at it and saying it's amazing, and at the same time raising money for charity," she said

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