Exhibition runs 7th March – 10th September 2023 at Wycombe Museum.

Historically, women’s paid work has often been belittled and forgotten. This exhibition hunts down the hidden women’s work in Chilterns villages that formed a crucial part of the local economy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Discover how the luxury goods made by these highly skilled workers contrast with the harsh reality of working long and poorly paid hours from their homes.

Hear stories of straw plaiting in Buckland; caning and rushing chair seats in West Wycombe; lace making in Great Hampden; and tambour beading in Holmer Green. Come to learn more about the crafts, women’s lives and their impact on the Chilterns.

With hands-on activities and a programme of events so you can take part.

This exhibition has been produced by Wycombe Museum in partnership with Chalk, Cherries and Chairs, and as part of the Chilterns Women’s Festival.


Hidden Hands: Women and Work in the Chilterns runs 7th March – 10th September 2023 at Wycombe Museum.

Entry is free.

Project Partners:

Hidden Hands on the BBC!

Lead researcher Dr Helena Chance gives a great overview in this BBC interview with Babs from BBC 3 Counties, all about the exhibition, the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs International Women’s Day Conference and how you can get involved.

Related events:

Event Type


Past & Future Events

Opening Hours

Wycombe Museum Galleries
Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: 10am - 4pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 10am - 4pm

Windsor Chair Cafe
Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: Open 10am – 3pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Open 10am – 3pm

Wycombe Museum Gardens
Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: 10am - 5pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 10am - 5pm


Wycombe Museum
Priory Avenue
High Wycombe
HP13 6PX

01494 957210

Support Us
close slider

Support Us

Get involved and help us to continue to promote a love of heritage, culture and the arts to the local and wider community for years to come.