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. 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.

If you come visit, you’ll see the fifteenth and final scene in progress at the museum. Our team of embroiders come in each week to add more stitches. Completing a section, just a few centimetres square, can take several hours due to the detail of the design and the skill required.

Once finished, the Tapestry will be over 25 metres long and will cover a period reaching back 64 million years.