The world’s largest embroidered tapestry – The Great Tapestry of Scotland – has gone on public display at Stirling Castle.
The castle’s Great Hall will play host to the tapestry which depicts millions of years of Scottish history, from Saturday 31st January as part of a national tour.
Visitors to the castle will be able to see the tapestry exhibited in its entirety within the impressive surroundings of the Great Hall of James IV – one of the few venues to date where all panels will be on display within one room.
The embroidered timeline, the brainchild of renowned author, Alexander McCall Smith and historian Alistair Moffatt, saw 1,000 people of all ages, spanning the length and breadth of the country, dedicate 55,000 hours of stitching to produce the tapestry. Using more than 300 miles of wool they translated Andrew Crummy’s designs into a colourful, skilful and textural depiction of the history of Scotland.
As well as charting the history of Scotland throughout the centuries, visitors can also enjoy references to the castle itself within the intricately stitched scenes depicted within the 140 metre tapestry, including one relating to arguably its most famous past resident Mary, Queen of Scots.
Commenting on the opening of the exhibition at Stirling Castle, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:
“The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a truly unique piece of work, which tells the story of our nation, and has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people since it first went on public display.
“The pairing with Stirling Castle offers visitors the opportunity to view this magnificent tapestry within the context of a venue that has witnessed some of the most significant events in our history, with the Great Hall of James IV a fitting venue to showcase a visual representation of many of the events which have shaped Scotland.”
As well as Stirling Castle a number of other Historic Scotland run sites are depicted within the panels including Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, Iona Abbey and St Andrew’s Cathedral amongst others.
Inspired by a visit to the Prestonpans Tapestry in 2011, Alexander McCall Smith approached the artist Andrew Crummy with the suggestion that he should design a tapestry that told the story of Scotland’s history. The resulting tapestry illustrates a range of skilled embroidery techniques and is Scotland’s largest community art project.