A VINTAGE dress thought to have been worn by Lady Lambton has been rescued from a skip.

The 19th Century frock was found by a builder renovating a cottage near Penshaw Monument – a folly dedicated to John George Lambton, the first Earl of Durham – near Sunderland.

He took the dress, along with two matching jackets, to Ding Dong Vintage store, in Durham City, where it was put on display.

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Fawn Cheyne, the shop’s owner, said: “It’s amazing.

We hadn’t seen anything like it before, apart from at Beamish Museum. I think it could belong to Lady Lambton.”

Ms Cheyne believes an image in a leatherbound photo album, also found with the dress, shows Lady Lambton wearing the frock.

She said: “It’s hard to tell if it is the dress she is wearing in the photo but it is definitely a similar style.

“I think someone must have had it in the loft for years. It has not been passed down to anyone.”

The dress is decorated with Whitby jet and lined with purple silk. It has attracted interest from museums and theatre producers, but Ms Cheyne said she had no plans to sell.