Tapestry On Display At Stirling Castle

31 January 2015, 06:59

The world's longest tapestry has gone on display at Stirling Castle, one of the landmarks that features in the design.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland was created in a series of community art projects, with a team of 1,000 volunteers sewing for the equivalent of 24 hours a day for six years to produce the piece.

It was spearheaded by author Alexander McCall Smith, who, together with historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy, designed more than 160 panels, each depicting a moment from Scotland's past.

The tapestry has been on display at the Scottish Parliament and toured part of the country, with more than 200,000 people visiting it.

Stirling Castle's Great Hall is one of few venues that is able to showcase every panel of the 140m tapestry.

Starting with a land locked in ice and carved by glaciers, scenes shown in the panels include the signing of the Act of Union in 1707, the building of the Forth Road Bridge, the cloning of Dolly the sheep and Andy Murray's Wimbledon win.

Stirling Castle itself features in panels depicting the Battle of Bannockburn and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop 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.''

The project is said to have been inspired by a visit by Mr McCall Smith to the Prestonpans Tapestry in 2011.

It will be on display at Stirling Castle until March 8.

Lorna Ewan, head of visitor experience at Historic Scotland, said: "To date more than 200,000 people have had the chance to view the Great Tapestry of Scotland on its national tour.

"Now, through a carefully-designed exhibition, the public will see the full extent of the tapestry - all 160 hand-embroidered panels - in the surroundings of Stirling Castle's Great Hall.

"This exhibition will allow visitors to follow the journey of Scotland's history and we look forward to welcoming people to Stirling Castle to view this impressive piece of art.''