Bayeux Tapestry
The Bayeux Tapestry, not only a work of art, but a historical record of the Norman Conquest in 1066. Many years have passed and the Bayeux Tapestry has withstood the test of time. It will continue to serve as a monument to William the Conqueror.
Creation of A Masterpiece
The idea to create the Bayeux Tapestry not original, it has been routed in English history. Creation of this particular tapestry came from the idea of tapestry that recorded the Battle of Maldon in the year of 991. So William the Conqueror had to have one made for him. The Bayeux Tapestry recorded the Norman Conquest of 1066 in which then, William the Duke of Normandy, led his troops to win the Battle of Hastings (Mogens 11). The title William the Conqueror became added after he had won. Now, there has been much confusion about where the tapestry was made, but historians came to the conclusion that the tapestry was made in Winchester or Canterbury. The reason they chose Winchester is because of its royal status and how it was an important city during Norman invasion, but historians chose Canterbury because of its then renowned tapestry school. The exact place the tapestry was made will continue to be unknown.
Church of Canterbury

Not Actually A Tapestry
Though it is called the Bayeux Tapestry, not really a tapestry, but embroidery. Embroidery can be defined as an elaboration or embellishment, as in telling a story. As seen by the Bayeux Tapestry, it is very embellished and intricate like embroidery. The Bayeux Tapestry became stitched onto only eight pieces on long white linen. It contains only four main thread colors: red, green, yellow and blue ( The stitching had been done by nuns using two forms of stitching, laid and stem stitch. This allowed for the nuns to stretch the amount of work that got done. The stitching took a long amount of time to complete. The battle was won in 1066 but the tapestry was not made until 1077. When battle scenes and wars are written or told stories of, it is usually about how a heroic solider who saved the day. Well, the Bayeux Tapestry is not anything like that at all. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts every scene in the most intricate way it could. Every violent and peaceful scene is depicted.
Piece of the Tapestry

Interesting Facts and Myths
The Bayeux Tapestry may be a historical record, but not without controversy. The main star of the controversy is a scene in the tapestry, a seen where historians cannot come to a general consensus of Harold’s death. Harold was the adversary William the Conqueror in the Battle of Hastings. In this scene, there are two people dying, one being slain on the ground, and one with an arrow in his eye. One side says the one on the one on the ground is Harold, and another side says the one with the arrow is Harold, so the world may never know. Another interesting story about the tapestry is in the French Revolution where French soldiers broke into the church of Canterbury, found the Bayeux Tapestry, and used it as a tarpaulin. The tapestry was later restored in the church and kept safe. One more interesting, thing about the tapestry is that the army of William the Conqueror is not actually on the tapestry. Some historians claim that the army of Eustace II of Boulogne, one of William’s allies, may be the one on the tapestry. This statement most likely cannot be true, but if it can be true, then the designer of the tapestry might not be French-Norman, but an English designer. So no good deed goes unpunished, even in victory.
Works Cited
Alchin, Linda. 20 Sept. 2006. 23 Mar. 2011
Gillingham, John “Bayeux Tapestry.” World Book 2001. Chicago: World Book Inc, 2001.
Macleod, Dave. “The Bayeux Tapestry: Unpicking the Past.” 17 Feb. 2011. 24 Mar. 2011
Rud, Mogens. The Bayeux Tapestry. Copenhagen, Denmark: Christian Ejers Publishers, 1992.

Back to the Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

This page has been revised 11 times.
The last revision was May 13, 2011 6:42 am by Grant-GMS.