Bradford Millennium Embroidery
1000 Years of History in Stitch
One thousand years of Bradford on Avon’s history celebrated in thread.
The Millennium Embroidery has just come off show at Holy Trinity church and will now be taking a winter break. It will not be on view until next Easter.
It took forty six women, two men and over three years to complete. The result is 12 richly embroidered panels, each a snap shot of a century, which take you on a journey from 1000AD to the present.
From the building of Holy Trinity Church in 1150 to Bradford’s Millennium firework celebrations in 2000. From King John’s royal visit in 1216 to the luddite riots in 1791 at Westbury House.
The historic tapestry is the work of the Millennium Embroidery Project which was set up to create a legacy to celebrate the millennium. Inspired by the famous Bayeux tapestry the choice seemed natural… a Millennium Embroidery. Using local historians and local artist, Jeanne Walpole, 12 bold medieval oil paintings were created. Working from the paintings the volunteers experimented with different ways to portray the rich textural scenes.
“Out of this came this chain stitch figure which looked very good and chain stitch is something that most people can do,” says Gill Winfield a project member.
Using fabric paint the historic scenes were transferred onto fabric and quilted. Each individual figure was then traced and made up into embroidery kits. Then came the stitching. For the next three years, meeting every fortnight, the 46 volunteers put in a staggering 1300 hours. Twelve to fifteen hours was spent stitching each figure and at least 200 hours for each panel. But unlike the embroiderers of the Bayeux Tapestry the members of the Millennium Embroidery Project will not be forgotten. The names of everyone who worked on the project, whether it was one stitch or 1000, have been stitched on the reverse of each panel.
- Watch a video about the Millennium Embroidery (links to YouTube in a new tab)
An explanatory booklet about the Embroidery is available from the Museum and the Tourist Information Centre.
The Millennium Embroidery is normally displayed in Holy Trinity Parish Church during the summer school holidays.
Where to see Bradford on Avon Museum’s Millennium Embroidery
It is appearing at the Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath alongside sections of the Quaker Tapestry 2nd to 16th August 2014.
Then Holy Trinity Church, Bradford on Avon 18th August to 8th September.