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Murthly Women Weave their Magic to create Historic Tapestry

24 May 2011

A tapestry created by a small group of six women from the Murthly WRI depicting the time of the Highland clearances, is being launched by Historic Scotland on Monday 30th May at 1:30pm at Stanley Mills.  After this it will be on display in the Spinning Room at the Mill for the remainder of the season.

The group has been working with textile artist, Caroline Earl, in order to create the tapestry which consists of sixteen woven panels and relate to the time of the Highland clearances when the land was being cleared for the rearing of sheep in the 17th century,  from living in a croft, to being moved on, to coming to Stanley and working in the mills.  

Caroline Earl said: “The ladies worked really hard but have had great fun learning how to weave, using odds and ends of their wool or yarn donated by their friends.  They started on small frames and then progressed to larger looms and the end result has produced a wonderful selection of strong images, created in both soft and vibrant colours that show this historic journey and new way of life.”

Stanley Village was created for the workers coming to Stanley and the tapestry shows the contrast between croft life and factory life with some of the panels having words expressed in Gaelic and Scots to show the emotions felt about leaving their crofts to work in the Mill.  

Ann Paterson, Gaelic Officer for Historic Scotland said: “This was a fascinating project and all the women involved in its creation were very keen to incorporate Gaelic in the panels.   I think it will now become a particularly valuable educational resource helping to teach children about life in Scotland in the past, particularly with the use of Gaelic in the panels.”

Gaye Sissons from the WRI said: ‘It was really inspiring to learn a new skill and create a tapestry which depicts our local history.  We also had a memorable trip to Stirling Castle where we saw one of the large tapestries for the Chapel being woven by the professional weavers at the Castle Weaving Studio in preparation for the Stirling Royal Palace refurbishment which opens in June.”

Notes for editors:
  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

Contact:        Jennifer Johnston-Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Direct line: 0131 668 8070
Mobile:07827 956 866

For further information

Jennifer Johnston-Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866