The Royston Tapestry

What do prehistoric sea creatures, Romans, Black Death, and a mysterious cave have in common?

You’ll find all of these- and more!- on the Royston Tapestry. Jane Vincent, our Curator in 1989, dreamt up the Tapestry as a way to record Royston’s history. The project was actualised by Honorary Curator Peter Ketteringham, who designed and built the frame, and advised on materials and construction. We began preparations in 1991, and placed the first stitch on July 1, 1993.

The piece is worked in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, with 15 scenes on one continuous length of linen.  Over 30 local embroiderers have lent their talent and skill, led by stitch coordinators  Christina Renwick and Carole Kaszak.  Each scene depicts a significant point in Royston’s history illustrating the town’s rich and diverse past. The scenes were first drawn on paper, by local artists Danni Kaye and Martin Kaszak, and then transferred onto the linen.  Completing a section, just a few centimetres square, could take several hours due to the detail of the design and the skill required.

On October 29th, 2018, Museum Assistant Amy placed the final stitch. The finished piece is over 24 metres long, and depicts 64 million years of Royston’s history. We are now beginning to prepare the project for display. Want to help?