The medieval ‘comic strip’ which tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s voyage to Scotland is being displayed in the Main Hall at the Scottish Parliament until Thursday 20 July 2017.
The colourful tapestry also depicts the battle of Prestonpans in a frame by frame manner.
The exhibition will be open between 10am and 5pm (apart from closure on Sundays) and the tapestry is on show to the public for free.
The tapestry is owned by the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust which operates across Scotland.
At 104 metres long, it is one of the world’s longest tapestries, and tells the story of the journey Bonnie Prince Charlie made across Europe, with his Highland Jacobite army. The 104 individual panels contain over 10 million stitches capturing intricate detail in each panel.
Dorie Wilkie who has the wonderful title of Chief Stitcher said : “It was quite a learning curve for not only for the story, but for those who were a wee bit rusty stitching or who had never stitched before and they just learnt on the job.
“I love chain stitch! ”
Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP, who launched the exhibition, said: “Behind every panel in the Tapestry, there is not only a historical tale to tell but there’s also the inspirational story of the community of women and men of all ages who came together to create each and every panel.
“The Tapestry took an eye-watering 25,000 hours to carefully handcraft and includes 10 million individual stitches. So, as well as following in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite clans across Scotland, it’s also worth discovering more about the passionate and creative community of stitchers who brought this story to life.
“We’re honoured to display The Prestonpans Tapestry for free at the Scottish Parliament and we hope families, and visitors of all ages, will take the opportunity to see the work of art for themselves.”
The artist Andrew Crummy, who also created The Great Tapestry of Scotland, worked with a community of 200 stitchers in Scotland, France, Australia and the USA to illustrate the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.
Andrew Crummy said: “It is truly an honour to have The Prestonpans Tapestry displayed in the Scottish Parliament. As a community arts project, it illustrates what happens when many people come together and use their creativity to create a large scale artwork.
“In particular, it’s great to celebrate the creativity of the many women who played their part in this Tapestry with their amazing embroidery skills.”
As part of free family-themed events on 1 and 8 July, visitors can meet the star of the Tapestry Bonnie Prince Charlie. Families can also root through the Jacobite and Redcoat wardrobe to dress up as soldiers or clansmen and women, as well as handling weapons and objects from 1745.
There are two Family Days on Saturday 1 and Saturday 8 July 2017 from 10am – 4pm. The programme of activities is below.
Storytelling with dressing up – Visitors will re-live the times of the Jacobites and the Redcoats through the power of storytelling and dressing up.
Meet the Redcoat and the Jacobite soldiers – This will give those attending the opportunity to handle the weapons and objects from 1745.
Alan Breck’s Volunteer regiment soldiers will meet and greet families on arrival (www.alanbrecksregiment.org.uk). The Alan Breck’s Volunteer Regiment present exciting, informative and entertaining historical events.
Short tour with exhibition talks and re-enactments – The Alan Breck’s regiment will lead guests on a tour of the Tapestry, bringing some of the panels to life.
There will also be drop-in activities running on Saturday 1 and Saturday 8 July 2017 from 10am – 4pm.
Stitching workshops – Dorie Wilkie, Chief Stitcher of the Prestonpans Tapestry, and her colleagues will offer stitching workshops suitable for both adults and children.
Jacobite Treasure Hunt – Guests will be invited to follow the Jacobite trail to reach the surprise hidden treasure.
Craft Zone – Visitors will be able to design their own medal or tartan.
A roaming Bonny Prince Charlie will speak to visitors and tell them the story of the man behind the Tapestry.