1066 and all that: How history was stitched up
Alderney, Channel Islands – 15 January 2018: Over the past years, many hundreds of thousands people have visited the Bayeux Tapestry Museum to admire this world-famous historic masterpiece of embroidery. Yet, it remains a little known fact that the Bayeux Tapestry is incomplete.
Although the Bayeux Tapestry depicts in 58 scenes the events of the Norman conquest, leading up to the Battle of Hastings, it runs out before this period of history reaches its conclusion: the coronation of William the Conqueror in London on Christmas Day in 1066. In fact, most experts now believe that a piece between 8-10 feet depicting the coronation of William I would have been included in the original work.
The historic scenes, characters, expressions and symbols embroidered in the Bayeux Tapestry are open to many different interpretations and continue to intrigue and fascinate historians across the world, including Alderney librarian Kate Russell BEM. Her attention focused on events following the Battle of Hastings - in particular the missing final chapters of the tapestry, the Norman Conquest of England which dramatically changed the history and heritage of this country.
ALDERNEY’S FINAL CHAPTER - THE END OF THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY
Ultimately, the small Channel Island Alderney delivered the missing chapter and plausible conclusion.
In just one year, Kate Russell, with the help of artist Pauline Black, history teacher Robin Whicker, and 416 men, women and children, including HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, added their stitches to the 3-metre long embroidery. Unveiled in spring 2013, the Alderney Finale was officially endorsed by the curator and authorities of the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. Alderney’s tapestry was exhibited there throughout the summer of 2014 and seen by 141,458 visitors.
At the invitation of the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Society - the student society affiliated with Cambridge University's Department of the same name - the Alderney Tapestry will be the centrepiece of a captivating history lesson in the University of Cambridge on Tuesday 23 January.
During their one- hour presentation entitled “1066: How History Was Stitched Up. Hidden meanings in the Bayeux Tapestry and Alderney’s Conclusion”Kate Russell and Pauline Black will provide a unique insight into possible interpretations of the different scenes, symbols, myths and messages hidden in the Bayeux Tapestry and Alderney’s Final Chapter.
Tuesday 23 January – 6:00pm
Lecture Room GR06/07
English Faculty Sidgwick Site
University of Cambridge
Admission is free.
EDITOR’S CONTACT: Ilona Soane-Sands, BEM
Tel: 01481 823448 - Mob: 07781 101 957
Note to the Editor:
To interview Kate Russell, please call 01481 823366 or mob Tel 07518 464 258
Contact for the Cambridge Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Society:
Mr. Amrit Sidhu-Brar
Tel : 07715 967 276
For more information about our tapestry please visit our website:www.alderneybayeuxtapestry.com
Photographs: a wide selection of high res images can be viewed and downloaded from our Flickr site
Main photograph shows Alderney’s tapestry in the Alderney Library with creators Kate Russell BEM (right) and artist Pauline Black
Just a stone’s throw from the south coast of England lies the treasured island of Alderney. A hidden gem with beautiful beaches, rich heritage, wildlife and scenery waiting to be discovered. Kick back and relax to enjoy the slower pace of life or get out to explore and take in the fresh sea air. However you choose to spend your time in Alderney you’ll soon realise just how easy it is to fall in love with this small island.
Alderney is the closest of all the Channel Islands to the UK, it is in easy reach. The island is just 3½ miles by 1½ miles at its widest point, one of the best ways of seeing this small island is on foot. Alderney boasts over 50 miles of winding lines and country paths covering every part of the island from the main town through to the commons and rugged coastline. On your walks around the island you’ll find fascinating historical sites, including Roman, Napoleonic and German architecture and in some cases all to be found on one site. A visit to the award winning museum is a must to find out more about the many layers of history on Alderney.
The peaceful island provides a perfect environment for stunning wildlife, from huge seabird colonies to hundreds of different wildflowers and moths, some special mammals, and incredible marine habitats. The lanes are exceptionally quiet, with very little traffic beyond the town, and the highest speed limit just 35mph. After night fall take in the clear night sky and enjoy the benefits of no light pollution and Alderney’s unspoilt natural environment.
The island provides a wide range of accommodation, anything from a 4 star beach front hotel to a delightful guest house and self catering accommodation to choose from. To find out more about where to stay visit www.visitalderney.com/stay/accommodation or for package holidays to Alderney go to www.alderneyholidays.com
Add in Alderney's culinary delights with an impressive selection of restaurants serving international cuisine with the best of Alderney's local produce and you'll see why Alderney is the Channel Island’s hidden gem, worth going the extra mile to visit.
There are four flights per day to Alderney from Southampton on Aurigny (www.aurigny.com) and you can connect to Alderney from airports in Bristol, East Midlands, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich and London Gatwick via Guernsey, also with Aurigny. For more travel options visit www.visitalderney.com/stay/travel
Alderney Fact file
- Alderney is the third largest Channel Island, part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and is the closest to France, just 10 miles off Cotentin.
- Just eight square kilometres in size, it is home to around 2,000 residents and the iconic blond hedgehog.
- Around two per cent of the world’s gannet population choose Alderney as their breeding spot of choice every year, on two rocks just off the coast. The Island is also a hit with puffins and seals, who summer on nearby Burhou.
- Alderney’s heritage is arguably the richest in the Channel Islands, and is layered with Roman, Napoleonic and German fortifications. It boasts the UK’s best preserved Roman fortlet – the only standing Roman building in the Channel Islands.
- It also boasts the Channel Islands only working railway. The tracks were originally laid to transport granite from a quarry to the magnificent Victorian Breakwater – now a charming Underground Tube train trundles along the tracks, transporting visitors from Braye to the Island’s iconic striped Lighthouse, also open to visitors.
Discover more on www.visitalderney.com