Knutsford's Millennium Tapestry goes Digital! | Knutsford Times

Knutsford's Millennium Tapestry goes Digital!

By on April 20, 2009

The creation of the digital tapestry will enable people from all over the world to view and enjoy this public woven masterpiece. With familiar streets, shops, houses and buildings now available online the tapestry can once more come alive with full screen digital interactivity.

Users can now zoom in and out of any one of the three intricate panels at the click of a mouse. The technology used as been available for some time but now it can be facilitated it to educate and inform visitors to Knutsford. We are now looking at other exhibitions to digitize in the hope that people can reach out to the history that Knutsford boasts.

The tapestry itsself is protected under copywrite law but the heritage centre will be more than happy to speak to anyone wishing to obtain a high resolution framed print of a specific panel. The centre also offer a full gift reproduction service so that your chosen image can be applied to coasters and place mats that make an ideal gift for anyone.


Making the Tapestry

If anything sums up the community spirit of Knutsford, it has to be the Millennium Tapestry. The work of over 3,000 local residents, the Tapestry has been described as a ‘masterpiece’ by the Daily Mail and has received coverage from Radio 4, Granada TV and BBC North West.

The idea for a Millennium Tapestry was initiated by Knutsford Town Mayor Miss Jennifer Hollbrook in 1997. Miss Hollbrooks idea was put forward and local embroiderer Sue Newhouse was asked to take the project on.

Originally planning to create a 2x10ft depiction of Knutsford’s two main streets, interest in the Tapestry soon grew and so did the scale o the project.  An ambitious target was set to involve 2000 people in its creation – representing the 2000 year millennium landmark.

Parts were taken to local primary schools where pupils were all asked to do a stitch each. And, many of the individual houses were created by their owners, often encouraging their friends, family and even window cleaners to bit too. In 2001

it was finally complete and the result was three magnificent panels depicting every street, road and lane of Knutsford. A total of 40ft long, it is estimated that the Tapestry contains 6.5 million stitches!

Presenting the Tapestry
Once complete, the Tapestry found its way into the Knutsford Civic Centre and was hung on the walls of the Civic Hall. In soon became apparent however, that this was not the most appropriate home for such a delicate and important piece of community artwork. Unframed and uncovered, the Tapestry was at risk from the harsh lighting in the hall and the weight of itself was beginning to pull down on the threads and cause signs of damage.

At this, the Heritage Centre sought expert conservation advice and began plans for a custom build frame and gallery space as a permanent home for the tapestry.
An impressive £40,000 was raised by Knutsford Heritage Centre and in 2003, the Knutsford Tapestry Gallery was officially opened. The Tapestry has remained at the Heritage Centre ever since and continues to this day to act as an important tourist attraction for Knutsford.

The Heritage Centre regularly present Tapestry talks for groups visiting Knutsford and attract large coach parties from across the North West bringing with them a great boost for Knutsford’s visitor economy. It is also used as a resource for workshops with local schools and clubs and the Tapestry gallery provides a wonderful and intimate venue for meetings, workshops and classes.

To view the actual Tapestry, visit Knutsford Heritage Centre, off King Street. Admission is FREE.

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