World renowned Scottish Diaspora Tapestry goes on display at Borders Kirk

The world renowned Scottish Diaspora Tapestry will go on display at the Borders Kirk in Carlisle from Tuesday 5 until Thursday 15 March.

Panels on display
Panels on display

The exhibit will be officially opened tomorrow by the Mayor of Carlisle, Councillor Trish Vasey.

World class

The tapestry, which was created by Prestoungrange Arts Festival in 2012, previously completed a two-year round the world trip where it returned more than twice the size it was when it left Scotland.

Travelling to countries across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas and Western Europe, the tapestry attracted more than 100,000 visitors and gathered panels about people of Scottish ancestry wherever it went on display.

Originally made up of 150 panels, the tapestry has now grown to a 305-panel international community artwork stitched by more than 1000 people in 35 countries.

Six panels from the tapestry
Six panels from the tapestry.

The stitchers worked in collaboration with Scottish artist, Andrew Crummy, as well as the festival's Gillian Hart and Yvonne Murphy.

Scottish history

Each panel tells a story about the lives and contributions of some of the 50 million people across the world who claim Scottish ancestry. A smartphone app that explains each panel and lists the names of the people who stitched it is available for download at the tapestry's website.

From celebrating John Knox Witherspoon, who became the first president of Princeton University, to mourning the loss of life on the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the panels detail the colourful history of the people, industries, traditions and ideas that originated in Scotland.

Disaster struck in May last year when the tapestry was on display in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh and a panel was stolen. However, the panel was eventually returned to the police and many.

In 2017 it was also exhibited in the Palace of Westminster.

A privilege

Christine Mountain, who has co-ordinated the exhibition of the Diaspora Tapestry at the Borders Kirk said it looks "amazing."

"We have all been looking forward to having it in Carlisle and feel very privileged that it has been allowed to come to The Border Kirk.

"We have publicized it well but there has been a lot of interest shown and we have a number of groups booked to visit," she added.

Opening hours

The tapestry will be exhibited from Tuesday 6 - Thursday 15 March at the Border Kirk, Chapel Street, Carlisle, CA1 1JA.

Opening hours are 10.30 - 15.30 weekdays and Saturday except Thursday 15 March when the exhibition will be open 10.30 - 20.00. On Sunday 11 March it will be open 12.30 - 16.00.

It would be appreciated if groups wishing to visit could contact the church office on 01228 591747.