A 64-metre long replica of the Bayeux Tapestry is coming to Woodbridge.
The Medieval Mosaic, which depicts William the Conqueror’s victory in the Battle of Hastings, is made of three million pieces of spring steel, weighs 350kg and holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s largest steel mosaic.
And now, as part of a tour of the UK, the artwork – which took Michael Linton 33 years to complete, latterly with the help of his daughter Rachael – will be exhibited at the Longshed, next to Woodbridge Tide Mill.
The display was made possible after Clare Perkins, Mayor of Woodbridge, contacted Mr Linton to express her admiration.
She said: “The Bayeux Tapestry marks the Battle of Hastings – one the most significant events in British history.
“It is simply wonderful that 950 years later people in Suffolk will be able to enjoy this extraordinary mix of the modern and the ancient.
“After all, the year 1066 was an important date not just in national history, but in local history too.”
Historical texts suggest many of the foot soldiers who fought at Hastings came from Bury St Edmunds and were led by Gyrth, the Earl of East Anglia and brother of King Harold.
Local author Charlie Haylock, who supported the bid to find a Suffolk venue for the work, said the Normans had a huge influence on East Anglia in every way – introducing surnames and completing the biggest census we had at the time in the Domesday Book.
“The 1066 mosaic replica is not only an accurate visual portrayal of history, but it is also an artistic masterpiece full of vibrant colour for everyone to behold,” he added.
Ms Perkins said the town had secured the mosaic with the support of Choose Woodbridge
James Lightfoot, chairman of Choose Woodbridge said: “Clare the Mayor has worked hard to pull off this huge coup for the town. The amazing work is an exciting way for people to explore this part of our history.
“It will provide yet another reason for visitors to come to Woodbridge over the coming months.”
The original Bayeux Tapestry is on show in Normandy in France but in the last nine centuries it has faded. There are also parts missing.
The mosaic includes a ‘finale’ section that tells the story from the battle to William’s coronation on Christmas Day 1066 and portrays the battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge.
More details of when this will open to the public will be released in due course, and we are delighted to confirm that the artist will be in attendance daily during the exhibition.
To find out more about the Medieval Mosaic, visit www.1066.co.nz