The Last Invasion Tapestry

It is 30 metres – or 98 feet – long.  More than 70 women completed the embroidery work. It was begun in 1993 and completed in 1996.  The room where it is hung was designed to accommodate the tapestry.   This week’s photo challenge is: Big

The Last Invasion Tapestry housed in the Town Hall in Fishguard, Wales is an embroidered depiction of the last invasion of England.

In February 1797 a French force of 1400 men – said to be misfits and jailbirds – sailed in four warships across the Channel with Bristol as their destination.  After sacking Bristol they were to cross into Wales and march on to Liverpool. However, bandied about by strong winds they altered course, but not before being spotted.   When instead, they sailed into Fishguard Bay the townspeople were forewarned.  The French encountered cannon fire, which, it is said, was not aimed at the French but was an alarm to alert the townspeople. Essentially the ill-trained force capitulated and the ‘invasion’ was over before it started.

The heroine of the day was Jemima Fawr – Jemima the Great. The middle-aged wife of a Fishguard cobbler, she is said to have singlehandedly captured 12 of the invaders, marched them into town and locked them up in St Mary’s Church.

See one more photo relating to the Last Invasion on the Legion of Door Whores

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25 thoughts on “The Last Invasion Tapestry

  1. Incredible! The dedication, determination, talent of these women to complete such a task. Although for them it was probably not a task, but a pleasure. I, on the other hand, never manage to complete any work of embroidery. I only begin them.

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    1. I’ve never done embroidery – I don’t think I’d be very good at it, in fact at this stage I KNOW I wouldn’t be very good at it. 🙂 But these women probably got together regularly for happy chatty while they worked.

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      1. Lynne, I know how easily that sort of thing happens. You look at a word you know and you see what you know. Where is spell-check when you need it? BTW I visited Fishguard many years ago. My grandmother was born there, so my father and I went to find the old family home, a house called Teneweon. (I know how to say that but I can’t figure out the spelling.)

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        1. I was an Admin Assistant and took minutes at the meetings of the Public Relations Committee … always lived in fear of the typo to top all typos – the Pubic Relations Committee. I’m thankful to say it never happened. 🙂

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    1. The designer of the tapestry was Elizabeth Cramp. She was also a watercolourist and yes, it certainly would have required considerable coordination and dedication to complete it.

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