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 30o for 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).