Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Prestonpans Tapestry

In March, 2009 Dr Gordon Prestoungrange, founding chairman of the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust, visited the Bayeux Tapestry and was struck that this was something that could be done back home for the trust. They enlisted a local artist Andrew Crummy to design the panels, as well as seeking historical and architectural advice from experts. Originally 79 panels we planned, but as the number of volunteer stitches grew to around 200 and other suggestions for scenes were made, the number of panels grew to 104. It seems remarkable that, 10 million stitches later and 25000 hours of work, the Tapestry was finished only the following year in June 2010 and unveiled at Cockenzie Power Station Near to the site of the battle.

The tapestry, which is actually an embroidery in reality, has been on tour around the country and we saw it when it was displayed in St Mary's Cathedral during the festival. It covers the 1745 Jacobite uprising up to and including the Battle of Prestonpans. Here is a selection of my photos of it.

Although each embroiderer or group of embroiderers had to complete the panels according to the instructions, in a little square in the bottom right hand corner, they were free to embroider something, of their own design, which would act as a signature.


The Tapestry website can be found here


Shundo said...

I was thinking that this would make a great comic book, so I am glad someone has already thought of that. Perhaps I need to add that to my Christmas list.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

What a splendid piece of work! I've seen similar local projects but nothing on this scale. Mind-boggling!

Poppy (aka Val) said...

Wow, this is just amazing! Your photos are fantastic, but I would still like to see it in real life :) x

Sandy's witterings said...

Shundo, if they were to make history into comic books (and they could have somewhere) then they might get kids to read them. As long as the facts are there they might accidentally learn something.

John, While looking into this, I noticed that there are others too. There's the 77 panel quaker tapestry on display in Kendal which I must try and get along to some time, and they are currently working on a Scottish history tapestry (same designer as the Prestonpans one).

Val, it's not disappearing. I believe there's a move to display it beside the Bayeux tapestry though I can't think where I heard this information so can't confirm it. It has certainly moved around Scotland though I can't imagine it would go south of the border much. There are moves afoot to try and make it a permanent home near the site of the battle.

The Glebe Blog said...

I guess the musical notes along the bottom of the "Seven Men", will be the fiddle tune "Eight Men of Muidart (Trad. Scottish)"