Monday, March 9, 2015


Ely Cathedral, set in an area of England known as The Fens, recently held an ecclesiastical embroidery exhibition run in conjunction with the Royal School of Needlework.

Over 60 displays included significant pieces of needlework which have been worked on by the Royal School and which form part of their collection housed at Hampton Court Palace.

One of the highlights of the exhibition was six of the twelve Litany of Loreto panels. They were bequeathed to the School by a convent in Sussex and are rarely on display to the public. Other pieces included depictions of theological figures and symbols using a wide range of threads and techniques, plus some rare examples of white work altar cloths, burses, stoles and chalice veils.

The unique exhibition also included artefacts from Ely Cathedral's own collection including a Mediaeval Cope, an 18th century gold vestment set and the recently restored white altar frontal.

As part of the event the cathedral were delighted to have on display the 11th century gilded bronze chasuble pin, originally from the tomb of Archbishop Wulfstan at Ely, and gifted to the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1771.

During the exhibition the Royal School of Needlework ran a series of embroidery workshops led by their own experts. Each workshop focused on a different technique such as ecclesiastical white work, gold and silk work.

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