An exhibition Weaving the Unicorn that tells the tale of the
biggest tapestry project undertaken in the UK in over 100 years
opens today at Stirling
Castle. Part of a project to return the interiors of Stirling
Castle, the palace of James V, to how they might have looked in the
1540s when it was home to James' daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots.
Historic Scotland commissioned West Dean Tapestry
Studio to weave a series of tapestries based on a set of seven
15th century Flemish tapestries The Hunt of the Unicorn held in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It was known from royal
inventories that when James V built the palace he owned over 100
tapestries, however there is no record of what happened to
Over the years a team of Master Weavers, led by Caron Penney,
West Dean Tapestry Studio Director (2009 - 2013), carefully
recreated and reinterpreted the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries, six
of which now decorate the Queen's Inner Hall at Stirling Castle.
The largest of these measures over 3.3m high by 3.8m wide. The
final tapestry in the series is due to be installed in the palace
this summer. The West Dean project team consisted of 18 weavers
from around the globe, including weavers Katharine Swailes and
Philip Sanderson who was shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize,
Recording Britain Now.