Friday, October 14, 2016

Battle of Hastings

It has been 950 years since the last successful invasion of Britain, the Battle of Hastings that took place on 14 October 1066 and resulted in the death of King Harold and it is all recorded in great detail in stitches! The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the history of the events from 1064 leading up to the battle itself in 1066.

The tapestry is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage ‘Memory of the World’ and measures over 70 yards in length, 20 inches wide,  featuring 58 scenes embroidered using wool on a linen background and is over 1000 years old. The fact that the piece is actually embroidered, not woven means it isn’t technically a tapestry at all.

King Harold with the infamous arrow in the eye that killed him.

The history behind who actually commissioned the tapestry and where it was actually worked is often disputed. Many think it was King William’s half-brother who commissioned the work and that it was embroidered in England. Whoever commissioned it and wherever it was worked it is a remarkable piece and in incredible condition considering its age. When you think of the crudeness of the needles the embroiderer’s had to work with, as well as the lack of good lighting and magnification, the detailed work  is remarkable. 

And, by the way, this piece of work was not completed. It just ends……

The unfinished end of the Bayeux Tapestry

The original tapestry can be seen at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum in Bayeux, France.

More information can be found at

1 comment:

  1. It's definitely a remarkable piece of embroidery! I know you can buy kits of parts of the work, somewhere...