Tapestry wins fame battle with Bayeux invitation

The Prestonpans tapestry was inspired by France's famous Bayeux Tapestry

The Prestonpans tapestry was inspired by France's famous Bayeux Tapestry

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It is believed to be the longest tapestry in the world and has drawn visitors in their 
thousands.

Now, an embroidery of the Battle of Prestonpans is to go on display alongside the work that inspired it – the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry, in France.

Bayeux Councillor Lydie Poullet saw the battle tapestry at the Capital’s St Mary’s Cathedral after being invited by the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust, which commissioned it.

She was so impressed with the work she arranged for the invitation from the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux.

Chairman of the Trust, Gareth Jones, said: “This is quite a coup for us.

“Our project was inspired entirely by the Bayeux Tapestry which our past chairman, Dr Prestoungrange, had visited many times.

“To have it displayed in the same area is recognition that ours is a great piece of art as well.

“We were looking for ways to raise the profile of the battle and bring the story to life for future generations and that is exactly what the Bayeux Tapestry has done since the 11th century.”

Commissioned in 2010, the tapestry – thought to be the longest in the world at 104 metres – was created with the help of 200 volunteers, including 89 from East Lothian.

It shows the 1745 journey of Bonnie Prince Charlie, from his landing in Eriskay to his victory at Prestonpans.

It will go on display in Bayeux during September and October 2013 and it is hoped its Gallic adventure will only be the start of a long journey.

Mr Jones added: “We’re 
trying to work out a programme for next year in which the tapestry will go to America and Canada while we do what’s needed to find a permanent place for it at home.”

The Bayeux Tapestry shows the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, including the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

It is exhibited in a special museum in Bayeux and a copy is displayed in the Museum of Reading.

Like its older role model, the Prestonpans Tapestry is not strictly a tapestry but an embroidery. It tells the story of disputed royal succession, 
divided loyalty and a great 
battle.

The tapestry will remain at St Mary’s until the end of August this year, with a programme of talks, workshops and re-enactments on offer.

Details are available at www.prestonpanstapestry.org.