Stitching brings history to life!

Anyone who has been dipping into my blog posts for a while will know that I do like a little bit of history, especially history on my doorstep.  On Thursday I accompanied a friend on a walk around a local village called Odiham*.  She had heard of a recently unveiled embroidery and thought it would interest me.  We alighted from the bus and walked past All Saints Parish Church to the old Bridewell building that now houses the library.

A local map showing some historical hi-lights and the layout of the village.
A local map board showing some historical hi-lights and the layout of the village.

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The Bridewell built in 1722 as a prison, subsequently used as a police station and magistrates court, now home to the library.
The Bridewell built in 1742 as a jail, subsequently used as a police station and magistrates court, now home to the library.

Amongst all the historic buildings in Odiham there are the ruins of castle built by King John between 1207-1214.  It was from this castle in May 1225 that King John rode to Runnymede on the River Thames to sign the Magna Carta*.  To commemorate this national 800th anniversary the Odiham Society commissioned an embroidery to depict the signing of the Magna Carta and many significant local events up to modern times.  The Odiham Embroidery* was designed by a local woman, Mary Turner, and stitched by a large number of local volunteers.  The quality is outstanding and the design provides a fascinating history lesson as well as capturing the rural setting of the village.

The Odiham Embroidery, Magna Carta 1215-2015.  And my friend, a reluctant  sitter, giving scale to my photo!
The Odiham Embroidery, Magna Carta 1215-2015. And my friend, a reluctant sitter, giving scale to my photo!
King John and his Barons riding out from Odiham Castle.
King John and his Barons riding out from Odiham Castle. You can also see The King’s daughter, Eleanor, and her husband, Simon de Montfort,  who lived at the castle until he was killed in an uprising against her brother King Richard III and she was sent into exile! 
Detail of King John and his Barons.
Detail of King John and his Barons.
Elizabeth I next to one of the many tudor buildings still found in and around the village.  The man with the horse is  who
Elizabeth I next to one of the many tudor buildings still found in and around the village. The man with the horse is a reminder that Odiham Agricultural Society founded a veterinary school in the 1700s.

After enjoying the details of the Odiham Embroidery we continued our walk before heading to the main street in search of a pot of tea and a spot of lunch.

Tudor cottages.
Tudor cottages.
Busy ploughing after the harvest.
Busy ploughing after the harvest.

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This is the tudor building depicted in the Odiham Embroidery next to Elizabeth I.
This is the tudor building depicted in the Odiham Embroidery next to Elizabeth I.

On the way back to the bus stop we had time to look inside the Church.

This modern window in the Church was donated by the local RAF base.  In the bottom right hand corner is a Chinook helicopter - did you spot a Chinook in the Odiham Embroidery too?
A modern window in the Church was donated by the local RAF base. In the bottom right hand corner is a Chinook helicopter – did you spot a Chinook in the Odiham Embroidery too?

I can’t help getting excited about history when it really so visible around us and I love that so many old buildings are still very much in use today.

I have spent a bit of time at my sewing machine too, I promise I’ll get back on subject soon! And there’s been an exciting development in my quest to sell some of my quilts… And we’ve had the fun of three family birthdays to celebrate in the space of nine days… And days out… And the building work here is progressing…

Allison

*Find out more: King John and Magna CartaOdiham village; the Odiham Embroidery

6 thoughts on “Stitching brings history to life!

  1. Hi Alison , like yourself I love history and really enjoyed seeing the embroidery and the village through you. A fantastic embroidery to celebrate the Magna Carta . One of the things I love about England is the sense of history on the doorstep . In NIreland we have history and some to spare , beautiful scenery but not the architectural beauty of english villages .

  2. Looks like you two had a very interesting day ! So Good of you to share it with us. I have really enjoyed looking at your pictures. I had to smile when reading that it was commemorating the 800th anniversary… my province is 105 years old this year – we’re still in our infancy !

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