“The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh.”

Romney Marsh Tapestry

Draft of Part of the Romney Marsh Tapestry
Draft of Part of the Romney Marsh Tapestry

You will have heard of the Bayeux Tapestry, which tells the story of William the Conqueror's defeat of Harold, Earl of Wessex at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Romney Marsh is to get its own tapestry, capturing its unique history from 700AD to 2000AD. The project is being lead by the IMOS Foundation, who is involving the Romney Marsh community in its making. 

The tapestry has been inspired by Bishop Odo, the half-brother of William the Conqueror and Earl of Kent, who knew the Romney Marsh area well and built the first Norman church in England, St Nicholas in New Romney. He also commissioned the 8ayeux Tapestry and had it stitched by English women, possibly from this region.

lt seems appropriate 1000 years later on to create another one.

The tapestry will be 1 metres wide and 5 metres long and divided into 15 panels. There will be the the potential for more to be added. It will include key aspects of the history and development of Romney Marsh, from its churches and sheep to smuggling and defenses against invasion. See the full list of subject below.

Video Icon Video about the Romney Marsh Tapestry

Bayeux Tapestry
Part of the Bayeux Tapestry

The tapestry is currently (August 2016) being designed, with subjects in draft paper form being added daily. Five artists are working on the design and it will show an aerial view of Romney Marsh, incluing its many dykes. 

This first stage will take until early 2017 to complete, when the mammoth task of stitching and needlework will begin. The backcloth will be woven from Romney Marsh wools and Romney Marsh wool will also be used to create each of the many hundred images.

It is hoped to complete the tapestry by 2020, when it will be displayed throughout Romney Marsh in its many churches. Ultimately it will have its own permanent home.

The project is estimated to cost c£50,000, with funding from the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, Magnox, Littlecheyne Court, and ward grants from Shepwat District and Kent Count Councillors.

There are already 30 volunteers to help with the embroidery and stitching but more are required. If you would like to help with the tapestry, even if inexperienced, then please contact Briony Kapoor at the IMOS Foundation.

Draft Marsh Tapestry
Part of the Draft of the Romney Marsh Tapestry

List of Subjects to be Included in the Tapestry

Saxons, silver coin mint 
Normans, Domesday Book 
Great Storm, 1287 
Building the Churches 
Smugglers 
Boats and Fishing 

 

Napoleon, Martello Towers and Royal              Military Canal 
Sheep 
Wild Animals 
Birds 
Flowers 
Villages and Pubs 

Lighthouses 
20th century Beach Scenes 
World Wars, aeroplanes 
Power station and Windmills
Roads and Cars 
Waterways, dykes, ditches 

Video about the Romney Marsh Tapestry