by Simon Duke
IT took 25,000 hours to complete and coming in at 104 metres, it is the longest of its kind in the world. Now available to see in the Borders for the first time, the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry is on display at Paxton House this month.
Commissioned by the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust, the tapestry was created by 200+ volunteers from around Scotland and contains over 10 million stitches.
The tapestry shows scenes from the early campaign of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army in 1745, from the time he landed in Eriskay to their famous victory at Prestonpans.
Since its completion in the summer of 2010 the tapestry has been on tour around the country, but this will be the first chance for a Borders audience to see it.
Inspired by the Bayeux tapestry, the Battle Tapestry actually out-measures it by some 35 metres.
Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust chairman, Gareth Jones said: “So far the tapestry has been on display in venues along the route the Prince took in 1745. Audiences everywhere have been extremely impressed with the amazing detail of the panels and the quality of workmanship. We are delighted that it has come to Paxton House so that people in the Borders have the chance to see it.”
Ultimately, the Battle Trust wants to create a purpose-built pavilion in Prestonpans to house the tapestry and interpret the Battle of Prestonpans.
An appeal to the Scottish Parliament for £5 million funding for this centre was launched recently. The tapestry is on display at Paxton House from 11am-5pm daily from April 1-7 and 12-27.