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The Tapestry

Discover the stories behind Knutsford’s Millennium Tapestry 

The Knutsford Millennium Tapestry was created between 1997 and 2001 to celebrate Knutsford in the Millennium year.

A 40ft long triptych, this community project depicts all walks of life in Knutsford and is the work of over 3,000 members of the local community. Most roads, streets and lanes in Knutsford can be seen on the tapestry along with over 500 everyday scenes.

It all began when the then Knutsford Town Mayor, Miss Jennifer Holbrook, suggested a Tapestry as a Millennium Project and approached local embroiderer Sue Newhouse with the idea. Sue took the project under her wing and worked tirelessly and with enormous imagination, creativity and vision for the four years that it took to complete. She skilfully guided, taught and inspired the stitchers every inch of the way.

In the autumn of 2011 it was discovered that the Tapestry had been infested with carpet beetle, the larvae of which, commonly known as ‘woolly bear’, were slowly eating away at this masterpiece.  In order to remedy this situation the tapestry had to be taken down, sealed in polythene ‘capsules’, and put into an industrial deep freeze at minus 30for three weeks to ensure all traces of the beetle and its eggs were destroyed. It was then thawed and returned to the Centre.

The old oak frames have been removed from the walls and new, fully sealed frames have replaced them.. The repairs to the tapestry were undertaken by Jacqueline Hyman, a textile conservation expert.

All this remedial work cost in the region of £20,000.  The Knutsford Guardian helped with this through the ‘Stitch in Time’ Appeal and we are very grateful to everyone who contributed to the appeal.

With coverage by the BBC and Granada T.V, the Tapestry has also been acclaimed as ‘a magnificent achievement’ by The Daily Mail and ‘a masterpiece’ by The North West Arts Board.

A truly awe-inspiring sight, the Tapestry is on permanent display in its own custom-built gallery at the Heritage Centre. Open all year round, admission to the Tapestry gallery is free.

Tapestry talks are available as part of our group bookings package.

To view a fully interactive version of the Knutsford Tapestry, please click here (external site).


Tapestry Facts

  • 53 miles of wool
  • 6.5 million stitches
  • 3000 people
  • 52 metres of canvas


  • Tatton MP Martin Bell outside the Longview hotel
  • Local historian Joan Leach taking a guided tour
  • Knutsford May Day Parade
  • RHS Flower Show at Tatton

Visitors Book

  • “What a wonderful achievement for all those involved”
  • “So much detail, this is my third visit and I still can’t take it all in!”
  • “A beautiful piece of community artwork”
  • “A testament to the community spirit of Knutsford”

Great Rail Journeys


Knutsford was featured on a recent BBC2 Great Rail Journey programme featuring Michael Portillo in January 2016.Knutsford Heritage Centre worked with Boundless TV on the research for this programme during 2015. For the programme Michael Portillo visited Heathwaite House where Elizabeth Gaskell the town’s famous authoresslived as a child, the Unitarian Chapel where she is buried, and the Gaskell Tower built in 1907 by Richard Harding Watt in her memory. Diane Stenson accompanied Michael Portillo who chatted with him about Elizabeth Gaskell’s mostfamous novel ‘Cranford’, the inspiration which she drew from the many buildings and features of the town.

The picture here shows Diane Stenson, Michael Portillo and Val Bryant (Trustee) in front of the Gaskell Tower.


Memoir Writing

Memoir Writing

This 7-week course will guide you through the process of writing stories from your life for your grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Suitable for inexperienced and experienced writers, there will be lots of tips on how to make your memories vivid and engaging.  Just bring yourself, a pen and paper. Sessions last for 2 hours and will include stimulating, hands-on writing exercises and the opportunity to read out work in a friendly, supportive and constructively critical environment, guided by a former literary agent, Sarah Ganczarski M.A. in Creative Writing and teaching creative writing qualifications from MMU.

Start Date:     Monday 4th April 2016 (7 weeks)

Finish Date:  Monday 23rd May (1 week off 2nd May)

Venue:            Knutsford Heritage Centre

Time:              10am – 12pm

 Price:             £50 (inc refreshments)

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Review Knutsford Heritage Centre

90A King Street, Knutsford,
Cheshire, WA16 6ED

Tel: 01565 650506

Copyright 2015 by Knutsford Heritage Centre | Registered Charity No. 1076917