Alderney Tapestry Project
Members of the Alderney Tapestry Project started the project a year ago and have just finished. The tapestry is 70m long and woven to tell the tale of the final days of King Harold’s final encounter with William the Conqueror in battle. But until now that tale did not include the coronation of William, which happened on Christmas Day 1066. Historians believe the final segment of the Bayeux Tapestry was lost so islanders began making their own. Kate Russell, Alderney librarian, along with 416 Alderney residents worked on the project.
The original tapestry was started within a decade or so of the Battle of Hastings. It was discovered in the early 18th Century and ended with the death of King Harold at Hastings. The Bayeux Tapestry was commissioned by William the Conqueror’s half-brother Bishop Odo to celebrate his victory over Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
It was unveiled in 1077 at the dedication of the Bayeux Cathedral and shows events from a Norman point of view from the death of King Edward the Confessor to the Norman victory over the English, with the missing section probably showing his coronation.
More than 600 people, 200 horses and 50 Latin inscriptions were included in the Bayeux Tapestry. The people of Alderney, with help from visitors from around the world, have been working since early 2012 on completing the story – taking it up to the coronation of William.
Robin Whicker, from the tapestry project, said: “Nobody knows exactly how the Bayeux Tapestry would have ended but this one shows the fact that William was crowned by the unstated fact that not everyone approved.”
The tapestry has been created at Alderney library with visitors to the center adding stitches.
The tapestry ends with the construction of the tower of London. The public’s contribution to the tapestry is now over and Ms Russell will be tying together the loose ends. The finished ending to the Bayeux Tapestry will be unveiled in Alderney on 1 April.
Bayeux Tapestry, a celebrated piece of embroidered linen fabric (actually not a tapestry) depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It is about 70 m. (231 ft.) long—the last section is lost— and 50 cm. (19 in.) wide, and is arranged somewhat in the manner of a strip cartoon, with one episode succeeding another in more than seventy scenes. Perhaps made to the order of William the Conqueror’s half-brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux in Normandy, it was displayed for centuries in the cathedral at Bayeux and is now housed in the former Bishop’s Palace there. (Norwich John Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Arts)