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Granny Thompson’s Costumed Ragdolls.

Brendan House & Tin Jug Studio Birr
16:00 - 18:00
Booking required
All Ages


Granny Thompson's renowned dolls will be posed - seated or standing - in the elegant setting of Rosalind and Derek Fanning's Georgian home, with its period and artistic interior. A selection of these charming, witty, skinny costumed characters, from the many created by Rosalind's grandmother, will be shown within the drawing room, the hallways and two to three of the bedrooms. Victorian and Edwardian music will be played in the drawing room throughout the tour.

The Dolls' Story -
Mary Eleanor Thompson, who died in Offaly at the age of 94, was born in County Down in 1907. At the start of the Troubles in Derry, Mary began imagining and making her tall, slim and amusing characters. Making them from inside out, and top to toe with antique and new fabrics, she used Irish linen, cotton from the Derry shirt factories, antique laces, flax, wool, embroidery silks and added all sorts of little accoutrements to create all the individual 'characters', for a variety of historical vignettes. She hand drew all their faces and named them all. The collection consists of well over 100 characters - from a small number of peg dolls of about 4 inches in height, through to the tallest, at about 3, 4 and 5 feet tall. Lovingly preserved by her Granddaughter, Rosalind Fanning, they have been exhibited in a stately home in England, on tour in specially made settings in the USA and Canada, and of course seen in Ireland - at the RDS, Athlone They have featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles, and on television in the States and in Ireland, several times.

Family friendly


Full Address: Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland
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