Prestonpans Tapestry

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Bayeux Tapestry

The Prestonpans Tapestry is a large embroidery created - and normally situated in - Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland.

Its full title is "The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry 1745".

The design, size and style were inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry; however, the Prestonpans Tapestry deals with the events before, during and after the Battle of Prestonpans on 21 September 1745 where Bonnie Prince Charlie triumphed over the Hanoverian Army led by Sir John Cope.

The Tapestry is – like the Bayeux Tapestry – an embroidered cloth, rather than a woven tapestry. It is annotated in English but an animated DVD is also available in French and text materials in French and Gaelic. More than two hundred embroiderers created the work over a two-year period; more than half these reside in Scotland from the places where Bonnie Prince Charlie marched to his Victory. Other embroiderers with family links come from as far as the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The complete community artwork measures 104 metres (341 ft), and consists of 103 panels, each one metre long and 500mm high. It is about 30 metres (98 ft) longer than the Bayeux example.

The completed work was unveiled to a private gathering of 500 of the embroiderers and their friends on 26 July 2010, at The Greenhills near Cockenzie Power Station which is on the edge of the Prestonpans battlefield itself. It has since travelled around the Highlands and Lowlands, to England and France attracting over 150,000 visitors in its first two years.

Exhibitions have included the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, St. Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, to coincide with the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and 2012, Alexandra Palace in London and Pornichet/ St Nazaire in France - from where the Prince embarked to launch his campaign in 1745. In September and October 2013 it was exhibited in Bayeux by invitation of the world-famous tapestry that was its inspiration.

Exhibitions have continued across Scotland and in June/ July 2017, after more than 500,000 had seen the artwork, it was displayed in the Scottish Parliament followed in August by exhibition at Festival Interceltique in Lorient in Brittany.

The Battle of Prestonpans [1745] Heritage Trust expects to be able to find a permanent home within the next five years that will also be a 'living history centre' for all other aspects of the battle and a hub for a nationwide and international Jacobite Trail.


The Prestonpans Tapestry is the brainchild of the Prestoungrange Arts Festival, the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust, the Founding Chairman of the Trust (Dr. Gordon Prestoungrange MBE, Baron of Prestoungrange), and the designer Dr. Andrew Crummy, who is also the youngest son of the renowned and highly respected community activist the late Helen Crummy MBE. Historical and architectural advice was obtained from Professor Martin Margulies, from Arran Johnston and from Gareth Bryn-Jones. The embroiderers were led by Dorie Wilkie.

The Prestonpans Tapestry has inspired further major embroidered community artworks. After seeing it, Alexander MacCall-Smith commissioned the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Designed by historian and co-chairman Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy, with contributions from approximately 1000 stitchers from across Scotland, it depicts the history of Scotland from prehistoric times until the present day. The longest tapestry in the world at this time, it was unveiled at the Scottish Parliament on 3 September 2013 where it hung for 3 weeks.[1]

The latest of these exceptional Scottish tapestries, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, has been developed by the Prestoungrange Arts Festival in Prestonpans with additional support from over a thousand volunteers, the Scottish Government, Bord na Gaidhlig, Creative Scotland and Homecoming 2014. Dr Gordon Prestoungrange MBE led a team across the globe to embroider the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry telling stories from 34 countries where Scots have settled. Andrew Crummy once again made the designs. Research was undertaken and the stitchers and exhibitions co-ordinated by Yvonne Murphy, Gillian Hart, Arran Johnston and Sharon Beck working with studio and field teams that prepared all the materials and made the exhibitions. This latest tapestry featured as a major exhibition throughout the 2014 Year of Homecoming in Scotland, beginning with its launch for 3 Harbours Festival at Prestonpans Community Centre on 31 May before travelling to St Mary's Episcopalian Cathedral in Edinburgh, Anchor Mill in Paisley, and north east to Inverness, Wick and Helmsdale. It then made its way in 2015 to Doncaster and Corby in England and across to Bergen Norway, Veere in the Netherlands, Barga and Picinisco in Italy, and Boussy and Paris in France. From October 2016 a final total of 305 panels toured in Australia, New Zealand, Canada,the USA and Iceland under the direction of Jenny Bruce, before returning to an exhibition in Westminster Hall in April 2017. It returned to Scotland's St Giles' Cathedral in May and to Prestonpans for the 3 Harbours Festival three years after it was first displayed there at Homecoming 2014. The entire tapestry is available as a free APP from Apple and Android stores with descriptive text in English, Gaelic, Italian and French: scottish diaspora.

It will continues touring until a permanent home is established in Prestonpans in partnership with the original great tapestry, The Prestonpans Tapestry, created in 2010 and telling the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's Victory at Prestonpans in September 1745.



  1. ^ Susan Mansfield and Alistair Moffat (2013) The Great Tapestry of Scotland Birlinn Books ISBN 978-1-78027-133-0
  • Crummy, Andrew (2010). The Prestonpans Tapestry 1745. Burke's Peerage & Gentry, for Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust. ISBN 978-0-85011-122-4.