In November eight tapestries, out of 12 designed and sewn by Royal embroiderer Rhoda Nevins and commemorating the sealing of the Magna Carta, will be on display at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal, South Cumbria.
The tapestry panels will be seen by thousands of people next year, including the Queen, as part of anniversary celebrations. This is the first time such a collection will visit the North West.
Rhoda Nevins, a member of the Royal School of Needlework who helped to embroider the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, was commissioned to produce the panels. Rhoda and her team are working around the clock to make sure the panels are ready in time. Work began on the first one in 2012 and the last one is due to be finished next May.
Museum manager Bridget Guest is delighted that people in the North West have a chance to see the panels ahead of a royal viewing in June 2015.
“It is lovely to have eight of the twelve tapestries here as well as Rhoda Nevins to talk about them at the launch event,” says Bridget.
“The ‘tapestries’ as we call them are actually embroidered panels made in a similar style to the museum’s own 77 Quaker Tapestry panels.”
“The panels produced by Rhoda and her team are beautifully done and this exhibition presents a rare opportunity for people in the North of England to see them at a local venue.”
“It’s also a lovely coincidence that Rhoda attended a Quaker school and her grandparents were Quakers too” adds Bridget.
The panels on show in Kendal include four dedicated to each Magna Carta Trust town: Bury St Edmunds, St Albans, Runnymede and Canterbury. A further panel depicts the shields of the 25 barons who were present at the sealing and three other panels show the involvement of the Commonwealth and British Empire countries.
Each panel is 594 x 841mm and embroidered using appliqué techniques with silk fabrics and gold threads. The Magna Carta Tapestry was commissioned by Runnymede council.
Next year’s anniversary recognises the Magna Carta as one of Britain’s most important historical documents and a symbol of national values. It provided the foundations on which British laws and principles are based.
Events to celebrate the sealing of the Magna Carta are being held throughout the world. The 15th June 2015, when the document was sealed by King John 800 years ago, is being singled out as the most significant date. The full collection will be exhibited at celebrations involving the Queen on this date.
For more details of the exhibition at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal, running from Saturday 1 to Saturday 29 November please visit www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk