Tapestry inspired by Prestonpans work shown in Scotland for first time

One small error in The Courier; it was just the panel shown left that was stitched by the New Zealand Women's Association in London ..the other 43 were stitched by a very wide range of embroiderers …

Tapestry inspired by Prestonpans work shown in Scotland for first time

It's on display at the Prestonpans Gothenburg at 227 High Street, Prestonpans EH32 9BE from February 26th to March 11th 2020, 12.30 - 5pm daily - free to visit

This Mount Felix Tapestry, inspired by the original Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry, is to be shown in Prestonpans this spring. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry and the Mount Felix Tapestry’s exhibition in East Lothian is part of the programme of activity devised to mark this, along with the 275th anniversary of the Battle of Prestonpans.

The Mount Felix Tapestry tells the WWI tale of Mount Felix Hospital at Walton-on-Thames in Surrey which served as a hospital for wounded New Zealand soldiers returning from Gallipoli and the Western Front. The 44-panel tapestry was inspired by a visit to The Prestonpans Tapestry in 2010 by Emily Boulting, Director at Riverhouse Barn Art Gallery and a subsequent meeting with Andrew Crummy who went on to designed the piece. By April 2017, 600 volunteers had completed the 44 panels and the first exhibition was formally opened by the New Zealand High Commissioner. Like the Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry, the Mount Felix work is community art tapestry, stitched by volunteers. In 2017, the Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry was itself shown in Walton-on-Thames and this East Lothian exhibition deliberately returns the exchange.

The Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry has a proud history of inspiring other works. When author Alexander McCall Smith saw the Prestonpans Tapestry at Edinburgh's Dovecote in 2010, he was determined to get Andrew Crummy to design the Great History of Scotland Tapestry. In fact The Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry has since triggered a renaissance of such artworks across the country, including the creation of the History of Renfrewshire and the recent project for the Pinkie Cleugh 1547 Heritage Group, both designed by Andrew Crummy. On the other side of the world, inspired by Prestonpans, New Zealanders from Otago are embroidering their nation’s history and in Belgium yet another project is in hand.

The Mount Felix Tapestry itself has just returned from an extraordinarily successful 8 centre 18-month tour of New Zealand. This exhibition is its first viewing since its return home to the UK.

The Mount Felix Tapestry exhibition is organised by The Battle of Prestonpans [1745] Heritage Trust and is on display and free to visit in the Thomas Nelson Suite of the Prestonpans Gothenburg at 227 High Street, Prestonpans EH32 9BE from February 26th to March 11th 2020, 12.30 - 5pm daily. Phone 01875 898200. As is to be expected The Gothenburg will be serving New Zealand wines and more throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition has the enthusiastic support of New Zealand's Scottish community led by Ereti Mitchell President of New Zealand Society Scotland and of New Zealand Honorary Consul for Scotland, Sir Neil McIntosh CBE. Both commented:

“We’re all delighted that the team at Prestonpans has taken the initiative to bring this beautiful and poignant community artwork north of the Border and we shall be doing all we can to ensure that as many Kiwis and our friends make their way to the community that inspired its creation. They are rightly proud of what their bold initiative in 2010 has inspired in others.”

Further events are planned to mark the tenth anniversary of The Prestonpans 1745 Tapestry and the 275th anniversary of the battle of Prestonpans. These will include a final six stop national tour of that tapestry starting in Inverurie before it is taken off display for conservation and preparation for its permanent housing. The Battle of Prestonpans [1745] Heritage Trust will also hold a special three-month exhibition in Haddington, and a programme of events showcasing the cultural legacy of the battle which has the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, EventScotland and East Lothian Council. As fundraising continues towards the living history centre to mark this significant battle, aspects of the centre’s planned activity programmes will be piloted to research the battlefield’s visitor profile and work towards the fundraising goal required to make this dream a reality.

Find out more at or at:

Media enquiries: Martha Bryce -; 07905 761 525

Published Date: Friday, February 14, 2020

The Prestonpans Tapestry created by Prestoungrange Arts Festival and the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust in support of the campaign for a Living History Centre in Prestonpans.
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