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The Great Tapestry of Scotland A Unique Project to Stitch the Story of Scotland from Pre-history to Modern Times Initiated by Alexander McCall Smith


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

About the Project

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is the brainchild of one of Scotland’s most prolific authors, Alexander McCall Smith. The 44 Scotland Street author, together with historian Alistair Moffat, and with the incredible artistic talents of Andrew Crummy, (not to mention all of the dedicated stitchers from all over Scotland!) form the team that is set to produce one of the world’s longest tapestries through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.

Some Sums!

Creating the tapestry will take 50,000 sewing hours (equivalent to sewing 24 hours a day for 6 years!), 49,000 meters of yarns (enough to lay up and down Ben Nevis 37 times!), 12,012 years of Scottish history and over 150 panels which willall add up to 1 beautiful tapestry, depicting the entire history of Scotland!

Scotland in Stitches

The creation of the tapestry is a unique opportunity to exquisitely regale our nation’s history while getting as many people as possible involved in the telling. The end goal is to create a series that tells the key stories in Scottish history - from Duns Scotus to the formation of Rangers! Every panel focuses on a specific historical event, and interwoven through the borders of each will be other tales of the time. These stories will add interesting layers and reflect on some of our shared history, while telling individual stories of place and family. This exciting project will use a wide range of embroidery skills to translate Andrew Crummy’s descriptive artwork into a colourful, skilful and textural depiction of the history of Scotland. To date there are over 300 stitchers committed to taking part, all of whom share a passion for Scottish history and some pretty impressive sewing skills. These volunteers will work together for over 400 hours per panel from locations around the country, islands and mainland, to help make Andrew Crummy’s artistic vision a reality, and then gift The Great Tapestry of Scotland to the nation. The project will take over a year to complete and the finished tapestry will go on display from August 2013. The Great Tapestry of Scotland will be created – like the Bayeux Tapestry – on embroidered cloth, rather than a woven tapestry. It will be annotated variously in English, Gaelic, Latin and Scots, with surface stitching in a variety of yarns, creating a wonderfully rich and tactile artwork. A defined range of stitches will be used including stem, split and chain, with filling stitches like long and short, satin and darning, and composite stitches where appropriate. Each panel measures approximately 100 × 50 cm.

Alistair Moffat Explains...

“As political statements like Bayeux or medieval draught excluders like most of them, tapestries have never gone out of style. These freeze-frames of history still fascinate. To make a tapestry for a nation, something attempted nowhere else, involves a glorious process of ruthless editing. Pitfalls open on every side. One of the deepest is the military option, our history as a series of invasions, wars and battles, many of them grey defeats. Another is to show Scotland and the generations of nameless people who made the landscape and built the towns and cities as a soft-focus background for colourful, stately aristocratic processions. While some pivotal set-pieces simply insist on inclusion, such as Bannockburn and Culloden, other episodes of our hidden history rightly claim a place; the great timber halls of prehistoric farmers at Balbridie, Claish and Kelso, James Small and his invention of the swingplough or John Watson Nicol’s composition of An Ataireachd Ard. Most important have been our efforts to make a tapestry that distils Scotland’s unique sense of herself, to tell a story only of this place, and without bombast, pomp or ceremony, to ask the heart-swelling rhetorical question; Wha’s like us?”_ ALISTAIR MOFFAT Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Above: The Wildwood and Its Fauna, c8,500bc. Below:

The Coming of the Vikings.

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Above: William Wallace and Andrew Moray, 1290s. Below: English Advance, Gaelic Retreat

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Above: The Scotsman Founded, 1817. Below: Robert Louis Stevenson.

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Above: 1914-1918, War. Below: Dolly the Sheep Cloned in Edinburgh, 1997.

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Left:

The

Parliament

of

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Ancestors.

Right:

Parliament

for

the

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Future.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Above and Below: The Great Tapestry of Scotland

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Who’s Involved? Alexander McCall Smith The Great Tapestry of Scotland project was initiated by one of Scotland’s best-known and most popular writers, Alexander McCall Smith. His highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series has sold over twenty million copies and his books have been translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers around the world. Other popular series of books by Alexander include 44 Scotland Street, Corduroy Mansions, The Sunday Philosophy Club and over 30 books for children. Alexander is Co-Chairman of the project and forms an important part of the wonderful team working to turn this beautiful idea a success.

Alistair Moffat Alistair Moffat is both a festival director and historian. He coordinated the Edinburgh Fring Festival for several years, before he become Director of Programmes and Chief Executive of Network Production for Scottish Television. In 1999 he went on to become the Director of the Lennoxlove and Borders Book Festivals and he is currently Lord Rector for the University of St. Andrews. His recent books include The Reivers’ and The Scots: A Genetic Journey. His books have featured on many Scottish bestseller lists often, and several titles have been made into television and radio series. Alistair is the Co-Chairman for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project and is responsible for advising the board on historical content.

Andrew Crummy Andrew is the artist and designer for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project. He has a wealth of experience under his belt as he was the Convenor of the PrestongrangeArts Festival and the principal artist and illustrator of the Prestonpans tapestry. He first trained as an illustrator at Duncan of Jordanstone college of Art. Andrew has developed multiple large scale, collaborative artworks in public and community settings across the world, as well as been involved with a range of book publications, multimedia events, festivals and educational programmes. He was chairman of the Craigmillar Communiversity when they were awarded the Saltire Award for a Short Scottish Documentary at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2005.

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

James Naughtie James Naughtie is an author and radio presenter. He has been one of the main presenters of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme since 1994. He worked for The Press & Journal, The Scotsman, The Guardian, and The Washington Post in the past. In 1991 Naughtie was voted Sony Radio Awards - Radio Personality of the Year in and Voice of the Listener and Viewer Award in 2001. He has also previously been the chancellor of the University of Stirling in 2008. He sits on the Board of Trustees for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project.

Lesley Kerr

Lesley Kerr is a lawyer with McKay Norwell and has worked with the firm for many years as partner and, at present, associate. She heads their property marketing department and carries out private client work as well. She sits on the Board of Trustees for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project.

Hugh Andrew Hugh Andrew is the Managing Director of Birlinn Ltd., Scotland’s largest independent publisher. After studying history at Oxford University Hugh progressed through the book trade working in book shops and as a sales rep. He founded Birlinn in 1992 and was also joint managing director of Canongate for four years. Birlinn now publishes approximately 200 books a year, with a particular focus on Scottish interest titles. He sits on the Board of Trustees for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project.

Dorie Wilkie Dorie Wilkie has always been interested in textiles, sewing clothes and making ‘things’. In the 1980s she founded the Bonnyrigg patchwork group, and went on to study for a City and Guild in Art, Design and Embroidery at Telford College with further studies at Leith School of Art. After answering an advert for volunteers, Dorie became the stitch co-ordinator for the Prestonpans tapestry project. With the Great Tapestry of Scotland project, she is responsible for supervising sewing techniques, running workshops, and preparing the finished tapestry for exhibition. Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Panel Numbers and Titles

No.

Title

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7a 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 32a 33 33a 34 34a 34b 35 35a 35b 36 37 38 39 40 40a 40b 41

The Great Tapestry of Scotland Ceaseless sea Land formation of Scotland The Ice Melts, Scotland Emerges, The First Pioneers Come The Wildwood and its fauna c8,500BC Encampment at Cramond. Scotland’s First House at Barn’s Ness East Lothian C8,000 BC The First Farmers Build Their Monuments C3,000 BC Broch, Cairn, Quarn (P164) Pytheas Circumnavigates Scotland C320 BC, Visits Calanais Mons Graupius 83AD, The Romans Build Walls Ninian at Whithorn c400 Irish Warbands Invade, Dalriada Founded, Columba at Iona 563 AD, Dunadd Cuthbert at Melrose c670AD, Book of Kells, Lindisfarne Gospels Ruthwell and Bewcastle Crosses, and the arrival of the Angles, 7th to 9th Century The Picts Defeat the Angles at Dunnichen 685 AD The Coming of the Vikings The Vikings take Dunbarton Rock 870 AD Constantine climbs The Hill of Faith 904 AD Battle of Carham on the Tweed 1018 The Border Settles in the South King Macbeth in Moray 1050s St Margaret at Dunfermline c1080 The Great Border Abbeys are built David I Fosters the Wool Trade C1130s St Andrews Cathedral Duns Scotus and The Schoolmen Somerled, First Lord of The Isles c1160 Haakon’s Fleet at Kyleakin, Skye and Battle of Largs 1263 Death of Alexander III at Kinghorn, 1286 William Wallace and Andrew Moray 1290s Bannockburn 1314 Bruce’s Siege of Carlisle 1315 and Beginning of Little Ice Age The Black Death, Deserted Farms c1350s St Andrews University 1413 Ancient Universities Orkney and Shetland Ceded by Denmark to Scotland 1469 Roslin Chapel Chepman and Miller set up the first printing press 1507 Blind Harry Harris Waulking (P145) Flodden 1513 The Three Estates - Greatest Scottish Play Court of Sessions/law (P48) Scottish Reformation - A School in Every Parish, 1560s Mary Queen of Scots The Border Reivers, Rescue of Kinmont Willie, 1596 Robert Carey’s Ride from London to Edinburgh 1603 The Making of the King James Bible 1611 Hamilton Witches The National Covenant at Greyfriars Kirkyard 1638 Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

41b 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 57a 58 58a 59 60

Drovers Montrose Defeated at Philhaugh Near Selkirk 1645 The Killing Times in 1680s, Field Conventicle at Irongray Massacre at Glencoe 1692 Bank of Scotland Founded 1695 The Darien Scheme The Act of Union, Edinburgh, 1707 moved to 35b Jacobite Rising 1715, Chaotic Battle at Sherriffmuir Modern Kilt Invented, Lochaber 1723 Jacobite Rising 1745 The Ordnance Survey Begins English Advance, Gaelic Retreat Royal and Ancient Golf Club Founded in St Andrews 1754 First School for Deaf and Dumb Children Established in Edinburgh,1760 James Small Invents the swing plough 1770 Enlightenment Edinburgh, Encyclopaedia Britannica established at Anchor Close 1771 Edinburgh New Town James Watt and the Steam Engine Tobacco Lords (P60a) Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Kirkcaldy David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rosseau in Paris

61 61a 62 62a 63 64 65 66 67 67a 68 68a 69 70 70a 71 71a 71b 72 72a

Highland and Lowland Clearances Gather Pace Home weaving, reeling and spinning (P153) James Hutton’s Theory of the Earth, Siccar Point, Berwickshire James Boswell and smoked fish (P125) The Forth and Clyde Canal, Irish Navvies, Burke and Hare Scotland and the drive for The Empire Robert Owen and New Lanark 1783 Robert Burns’ Tam O’Shanter, 1791 The False Alarm, Threat Of Napoleonic Invasion 1801 Henry Raeburn (P163) Walter Scott, Early 19th Century, Romantic Scotland and the Beginnings of Tourism Fingal’s cave The Scotsman founded 1817 George Smith founds The Glenlivet Distillery 1824 Borders Tweed The Growth of Glasgow c 1820s Sheep shearing (P159) removed First Reform Act 1832 Kirkpatrick McMillan Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

73 73a 73b 73c 74 75 75a 76 76a 77 77a 78 78a 79 79a 80 80a 82 82a 83 83a 83b

Victoria at Balmoral, 1850s/60s Disruption (P40a) Indian Head Hill and Adamson The Railway Boom and The Forth Road Bridge A Caithness school 1851 Celtic and Rangers Old Firm Irish immigration after the famine, Founding of Celtic and Rangers Football Clubs James Clerk Maxwell Scotland in Africa Highland Games Scottish Rugby Union Founded 1873, First match between England and Scotland Shinty and curling Scots in America, 19th Century Emigration Paisley Peacock (P141) Battle of The Braes, Skye, 1882, Napier Commission Paisley Lady (P156) Robert Louis Stevenson Workshops of the empire (P135) Scottish Trades Union Congress Forms in Glasgow 1897 Keir Hardie Herring Girls (P126)

84 84a 84b 85 85a 86 87 87a 88 88a 89 89a 90 90a 91 92 93 93a 94 95

The Discovery sails from Dundee Dundee, Jute Jounalism (P146) Shetland, Ibster sisters (P148) Charles Rennie Mackintosh Designs Glasgow School of Art Munros 1914-1918 War The Building of HMS Hood, Battle of Ypres 1917 Elsie Ingles The Sinking of HMS Iolaire off Stornoway 1919 Eric Liddle Women get the Vote Whaling General Strike 1926 Fair Isle (P151) Hugh MacDiarmid writes A Drunk Man Looks at The Thistle Ramsay MacDonald Prime Minister, rise of the Labour Party Great Depression in 1930s Glasgow Tenement The Second World War The Clydebank Blitz 1941 Birlinn Ltd.


The Great Tapestry of Scotland

95a 96 97 97a 98 99 99a 100 101 101a 102 103 103a 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124

Concrete Pill Blocks D-Day 1944 The first Edinburgh Festival 1947 East Kilbride National Health Service founded Television arrives 1950s STV Grampian, Border TV, BBC Washer Woman Cumbernauld New Town North Sea Oil Licenses Granted 1965, Aberdeen, Nigg Bay Aberdeen Linwood Begins Production of Hillman Imp Pop Music Booms Glenrothes Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Work-In, Jimmy Reid, 1971 Stop Yer Ticklin Jock! Scottish Comedy The Rise of the SNP, 1974 Elections Scotland at the Movies Scotland’s World Cup Campaign in Argentina, Ally’s Army, 1978 Miners’ Strike 1984, Decline of Heavy Industry Gaelic Resurgent Glasgow European City of Culture 1990 Dolly the Sheep Cloned in Edinburgh 1996 The Scottish Parliament Reconvenes 1999 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 1 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 2 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 3 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 4 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 5 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 6 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 7 Parliament of the Ancestors - Parliament for the Future 8 Map of Scotland today North-wind blows/geese/ceaseless sea Credits

We hope you enjoyed the sneak peek!

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Great Tapestry of Scotland spread