The Surrey Tapestry wall hanging depicts our county’s history

Detail from the mediaeval history panel

Detail from the mediaeval history panel - Credit: Various

Our county’s answer to the Bayeux Tapestry, the Surrey Tapestry is an epic work of art on permanent display at Surrey History Centre in Woking.

Detail from the classical section

Detail from the classical section - Credit: Various

Commissioned by Surrey County Council in 1997 with major funding from the Arts Lottery Fund, the ambitious wall hanging takes us right the way through our county’s history.

Detail from the 20th century panel

Detail from the 20th century panel - Credit: Various

Designed by artist Philip Sanderson, a team of six weavers from West Dean Tapestry Studio, near Chichester, worked for eight months to produce this ambitious piece, which measures 22.5 metres square.

“Divided into five panels, each one depicts a progression of overlapping images interpreting periods of Surrey’s history,” says Di Stiff, collections development archivist of Surrey History Centre. “The themes cover periods of history from Pre-Roman times to the 20th century and within these they feature historic events and landmarks such as the Magna Carta, Nonsuch Palace, Epsom racecourse and Britain’s first purpose-built mosque at Woking.”

The panels also reflect the importance of the railways as the Surrey Iron Railway was the first public line in Britain.

With the arrival of the 20th century, we see Guildford Cathedral, Brooklands motor racing track, Surrey during wartime, and the great storm of 1987.

This fascinating tapestry can be seen in the foyer at Surrey History Centre along the upper part of the rear wall.

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Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking GU21 6ND. Tel: 01483 518737 /