11 February, 2010


Here's a quick question for all you history buffs out there:

What happened in England in 1066?

That's right - the Battle of Hastings, when William the Conqueror from Normandy successfully invaded England and defeated King Harold.

The Bayeux Tapestry was a huge embroidery made depicting the events surrounding and including the Battle of Hastings. It is an amazing work of art.

Well, here in little old New Zealand, a keen historian has re-created the Bayeux Tapestry - but it is not a tapestry, it is an amazingly intricate mosaic made up of the most unlikely material.

Michael Linton and his daughter, Rachael, completed their mosaic copy of the Bayeux Tapestry using tiny pieces of spring steel - the offcuts from patterning disks used on a very large industrial knitting machine. The pieces are approximately 7mm square. The mosaic took Michael & Rachael 25 years to complete and is almost 34 metres long. It is currently displayed in Michael and Gillian's shop, "The Giant Jersey", in Geraldine, in the South Island of New Zealand.

Well, my parents have just been on a holiday in the South Island and brought back a set of amazing CD-roms with a wealth of information about the Bayeux Tapestry and the surrounding events. There are high resolution scans of the mosaic, scene by scene descriptions, a comprehensive study of the history of the tapestry, activities and games for the kids, as well as a large library of related books - including hundreds of Aesop's fables, Our Island Story and many more! There are also images of beautiful illuminated manuscripts, medieval hymns along with their music as well as poems about the events and much more. It is going to provide us history nuts with hours of fun & enjoyment!
Check out Michael's website for more information and pictures of the mosaic - oh, and the "Giant Jersey"!


UPDATE APRIL 2012!  Please visit Dana's blog to see an animated version of the tapestry, it's great!


Dana said...

Hi, Rachel. Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my post (and adding a link!). This mosaic is amazing! 25 years...wow! I know I wouldn't have the patience to do something like that. And, that reminds me of the cathedrals I've been reading about - can you imagine working on something that wouldn't even be completed in your lifetime??

Thanks for the reminder that "the tapestry" is actually embroidery. Kind of strange that it is called a tapestry!

I also found it interesting that there are scenes from Aesop's fables on the borders of the tapestry. That's neat that your CD has some on it. And, I have a copy of Our Island Story and went to it last night to find the chapters I should read about this time in history.

I also downloaded a free book on my Kindle (I think it's free because I'm an Amazon Prime member)by G.A. Henty called "Wulf the Saxon: A Story of the Norman Conquest." I just started it last night and didn't get very far so I'm not sure how well I'll like it yet.

I'm always amazed at how much there is to learn and how little I know! - Dana

Dana said...

P.S. I came across another video today that I just added to my blog. You may or may not like it - I had mixed feelings. But, it talks about the invasion and the Bayeux Tapestry. It's a music video set to modern music, though I don't recognize the Justin Timberlake song.

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