Bradford Millennium Embroidery

1000 Years of History in Stitch

King John’s royal visit in 1216

One thousand years of Bradford on Avon’s history celebrated in thread.


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 building of Holy Trinity Church in 1150

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 1,300 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.

An explanatory booklet about the Embroidery is available from the Museum and the Tourist Information Centre.

The Millennium Embroidery is occasionally displayed in various locations- watch this website for news

(Article from the BBC website & LHI)

Where to see Bradford on Avon Museum’s Millennium Embroidery

The Embroidery is on show in the gallery/meeting room next to the Museum in the library building until Saturday 28th April 2018 during Library opening hours.

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