Reading's Bayeux Tapestry

Contributed by Reading Museum

Reading’s Bayeux Tapestry

Reading's replica was the idea of Elizabeth Wardle, an accomplished embroideress and the wife of Staffordshire silk-dyer Thomas Wardle. Elizabeth had decided to make a full size replica 'so that England should have a copy of its own'. Thomas produced woollen yarns dyed to match the originals and in 1885 thirty-five ladies of the Leek Embroidery Society began work on the 'tapestry'. Work took a year and the replica was exhibited across Britain, and in the USA and Germany, before finding its final home at Reading Museum in 1895.

The Wardles made great efforts to ensure that their copy was as authentic as possible by using the right dyes, wools and stitches. However, there are some uniquely Victorian additions to the copy. In the borders of the original there are several naked men but in the copy their modesty has been protected! The ladies of Leek were not responsible for these prudish alterations; they had simply copied the details from hand-coloured photographs that had been 'cleaned up' by the South Kensington Museum.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Leek, Staffordshire

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
70cm
W:
7000cm
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Berkshire.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.