The couple, who shared two daughters, resided at Ickworth, which remained the Bristol family seat until it was sold to the National Trust in the 1990s. the 3rd Marchioness was a renowned society beauty and popular hostess, and it is this version of Ickworth’s former opulence that is brought to life in its Christmas showcase.
Victorian finery, lavish desserts and décor galore are set out for visitors to feast upon in the State Rooms, while down in the basement there is a glimpse of how the servants would have prepared the festivities.
A photograph of the marchioness’ dress was shared on the official Ickworth House Instagram account, with the caption: ‘This dazzling dress by the haute couture House of Worth is one of the centrepieces of our Christmas celebrations at Ickworth. Designed for Geraldine, 3rd Marchioness of Bristol, in Paris, this dress showcases the glamour that defined the late 1800s.
‘It has recently returned from vital conservation work to be on display for this festive occasion. Whilst we are inviting you to enjoy the wonderful Christmas traditions of the Victorian era this year, we are also celebrating some of the treasured collection items that call Ickworth their home.
‘The Rotunda is open until 21st December for you to marvel at Geraldine’s House of Worth dress alongside her portrait and bridal fan in the drawing room.’
When the Marquess died in 1907, the marchioness moved into a London house with her unmarried sister-in-law, Lady Mary Hervey. The marchioness died in January 1927 after being hit by a car while crossing the road.