Gawthorpe Hall’s Elizabethan herb pillow inspires new Burnley Batch gin

A gin inspired by an Elizabethan herb pillow from the 1500s has been created by Burnley’s Batch Distillery.
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Part of the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, held at Gawthorpe Hall, the pillow influenced a gin distilled with earthy herbs and punchy citrus.

The Herb Pillow gin is now on sale via the Batch website and £5 from each bottle sold will be donated to the charity.

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Herb pillows were designed to hold a selection of fragrant herbs and dried flowers which when taken to bed could help with sleeplessness.

The Herb Pillow gin, which has been created by Burnley's Batch DistilleryThe Herb Pillow gin, which has been created by Burnley's Batch Distillery
The Herb Pillow gin, which has been created by Burnley's Batch Distillery

They could also be used to fragrance or to keep away insects from clothes in drawers.

Rachel Midgeley, Gawthorpe Textiles Collection curator, said: “This embroidered pillow is one of the earliest pieces in the collection, worked in silk and metal purl on linen with spangles and metal lace edging.

“It’s not known who stitched this piece, though it is one of two items in the collection potentially connected to the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

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“The Batch team were really excited about using the pillow as inspiration for a new gin flavour and we couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Phil Whitwell, a director at Batch said: “We were delighted to take a tour of the collection with Rachel and charity fundraiser Christina Cope and see all of the amazing textiles right here on our doorstep.

“We were immediately drawn to the Herb Pillow and inspired by its bright wildflowers and fragrant herbs.

“As well as a combination of floral botanicals, Distillery, Ryan wanted to use hops – typically found in herb pillows, as he knew it would add a depth to the gin and focus in on the citrusy orange and lemon he had chosen.

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“The result is a light, refreshing gin full of vibrant notes.”

Collectors of Batch Gin may be thrown by the four labels created for this inspired gin, but designer LadyJane felt that one label didn’t do the story justice.

She said: “It was so important to be able to capture the wildlife and intricate details of the Herb Pillow we knew a single design wouldn’t do this artwork justice.

“I wanted people to see the beautiful detail of the embroidery, so I decided to produce four labels, focusing on the different creatures and flowers.”

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