ONE OF the most significant battles in Scottish history has been depicted in a unique project for an Angus group’s contribution to the world’s longest tapestry.
More than 20 ladies from Angus Embroidery and Textile Artists have been stitching a panel depicting the defeat of the Angles by the Picts at the Battle of Dunnichen, which will go on display with 160 other embroidery panels in the Scottish Parliament building this September.
Group Secretary Patricia Rae, with help from Pat Beaton and Iolanta Robertson, has co-ordinated the project which has involved more than 240 hours of stitching so far, with some work still be be completed.
She said: “It has been an enjoyable experience for us all as we were given the wool in colours we cannot change and then we had to decide roughly, using the designer’s drawing, where to use them and which stitches to use.
“We have 40 ladies in our group, and at least half of them wanted to stitch a part of this historical piece.
“We’re really excited to think we are stitching a piece of history and of course we are hoping that the whole Tapestry may be shown at some point in the next few years at the new V&A museum in Dundee.”
The battle, which is thought to have taken place near Letham in 685AD, resulted in a resounding defeat for a Northumbrian army under the leadership of King Ecgfrith.
The Picts, commanded by King Nechtan, led the Northumbrians into an ambush where most of them were slaughtered and the engagement permanently loosened the kingdom’s grip on the Pictish nation.
The idea for the tapestry was put forward by author Alexander McCall Smith, who together with historian Alistair Moffat and designer Andrew Crummy, formed a team with Scottish Stitchers, who will produce the work through one of the largest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.
The whole project uses a range of embroidery skills and more than 30 miles of wool yarn to translate Andrew Crummy’s design into a depiction of the Scotland’s history.
To date, there are 600 stitchers from every corner of Scotland committed to taking part, some in groups and others individually.