The Arbroath Tapestry has been designed by Scottish artist Andrew Crummy, designer of the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland, the embroidery artists aspired to create a tapestry which gave greater prominence to the Declaration and placed the history of Arbroath and its Abbey at the forefront.
Those involved with the project have carried out in-depth research on threads and stitches in order to create a piece which reflects the materials and style of the medieval tapestries which once decorated the walls of the Abbey. Natural materials have been used as far as possible in order to reflect those used at the time.
The complex design of each panel represents a different element of the history of the Declaration and the heritage of the Abbey and surrounding town. The embroidery group have logged 1,266 hours of work on the piece over a year long period.
The central panel represents the feudal society of the 12thcentury in which the Abbey was built and portrays Robert the Bruce and Abbot Bernard de Linton of Arbroath writing the Declaration to be sent to Pope John XXII in Avignon.
The two smaller panels on each side of the centre represent the role and influenceof the Abbey within Arbroath, with the left panel featuring its founder William I. A fisherwoman is also shown to reflect the importance of the local fishing industry to the Abbey. The right panel represents the many trades which were involved in building and maintaining the Abbey and depicts the figures of Sir Adam de Gordon and Sir Edward de Maubuisson setting sail to deliver the important manuscript to Avignon. The tapestry is decorated with the seals of the Declaration signatories and the Arbroath Oslin apples which were introduced by monks of the Abbey.
Embroiders and Textile artists involved in the project are:
Ann Marie Bray, Pat Beaton, Rena Freeburn, Janette Nairn, Christine Riley (tutor), Alice Sim,
Jessy Smart, Mary Stephen, Linda Walker (group co-ordinator), Margaret Wynne
Display cabinet produced by Angus Ross.
This project has been made possible through fund raising events and donations as well as generous support by:
Thornton’s Law Aberbrothock Trust