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A Mirror on the Past

7th July 2022 - 6th November 2022
Gallery image for A Mirror on the Past Gallery image for A Mirror on the Past Gallery image for A Mirror on the Past Gallery image for A Mirror on the Past Gallery image for A Mirror on the Past

The exhibition is housed in the newly refurbished Masson Pavilion at the summit of the Heights of Abraham. Your cable car ticket admits free admission to the exhibition.

The brand-new exhibition at the Heights of Abraham is a walk through time that puts the focus on how the lives, and fashions, of visitors from the past 230-years differ to the modern visitor today. Fourteen delightfully dressed figures show what visitors of the past would have worn on their day out at the Heights of Abraham. Informative digital displays throughout the exhibition space give a glance into what life was like for the visitors from the past.

In modern times, information about the world around us can be found in an instant. Travel has broadened our understanding of places and landscapes. Books and digital media allow us to quickly find information on any subject we care to investigate. But… it wasn’t always this easy!

If you visited the Heights when it first opened in 1787 you would have a very limited understanding of the world around you. Everything was new, exciting and different. As a consequence, people were often overwhelmed by what they saw.  

It was during this time, the Age of Enlightenment, that people became fascinated by new scientific discoveries and were curious to understand more about the natural world. The Romantic poets, writers and artists looked at the landscape with renewed intellectual vision. Notable society figures, from William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen to Princess Victoria came in search of the ‘sublime’, awesome beauty, ‘of terrors and awe-inspiring natural phenomena’. 

How they dressed for these adventures on the hills and in the caverns never seemed to cross their minds! They wore clothes that to us seem highly inappropriate. It wasn’t easy, climbing the steep hill in their amazing, intricate outfits. Early visitors showed their wealth through expensive fabrics and elaborate decoration, and this wasn’t limited to the finest occasion!  

As times changed, visitors to the Heights dressed differently, following fashions and influences from those most famous around them, much as we do today. Inventions made during the industrial revolution improved living standards, sanitation, education and literacy. People became more aware of the world around them and could travel more easily. These changes slowly paved the way for the how we are today but back in 1787, it was a very different world. 

Open every ady, until 6 November 2022.