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The Woodstock textile trail

Walk among historical textile treasures in the Cotswold town of Woodstock

The Stonesfield Embroidery at The Oxfordshire Museum

Probably made in Herefordshire between 1728 and 1735 by the women of a wealthy family, the Stonesfield Embroidery was purchased by the Oxfordshire Museum Service in 1995. 

The embroidery, a rare surviving example of an 18th century piece of needlework, depicts the design of a Roman mosaic pavement discovered in 1712 near the village of Stonesfield to the north-west of Woodstock.

Worked in worsted wools and silk thread stitched on a single thread canvas, the embroidery measures at least 2.5m by 2m. It is worked in simple heavy tent stitch, with some cross stitch and finer tent stitch (or petit point) for the detail.

Opening hours fo the Oxfordshire Museum.

The Woodstock wall hangings at Woodstock Town Hall

The Woodstock wall hangings have been made during the last ten years by the Woodstock Borders, a group of older residents, most of whom have also been involved in making the kneelers for the parish church. 

These textile pictures tell the history of the town. They are mainly hand embroidered but some painting has also been used. The size of the 17 panels, approximately five feet in depth and between two feet and eight feet in width, dictates the main technique - appliqué. The wall hangings were made to fit the elegant Assembly Room within the town hall.

The Town Hall is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am - 1pm. A representative is happy to talk to those interested in design, textiles or community projects. 

More information is can be found on the town council website.

The kneelers at St Mary Magdalen Church

In 1985, the Friends of Woodstock Church had the idea of making new kneelers and formed a local group who met for instruction and exchange of ideas. Workers were invited to choose their own design for the top of the kneeler.

A total of 200 kneelers can now be seen in the church and designs include church symbolism, local history and organisations, wildlife and emblems of the armed forces. Some were donated as memorials.

A representative is happy to talk to those interested in design, textiles or community projects. More information can be found on the town council website.

The Blenheim Palace tapestries at Blenheim Palace

The state rooms at Blenheim Palace are hung with tapestries of the 1st Duke of Marlborough campaigns. Marlborough himself commissioned them from the designer de Hondt and the Brussels weaver Judocus de Vos.

The most famous of the tapestries shows Marlborough in his hour of triumph as he accepts Marshall Tallard's surrender at the Battle of Blenheim.

For opening hours and admission cost go to the Blenheim Palace website.