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The Tapestry Maps Exhibition

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Ralph Sheldon, William's son, commissioned four tapestry maps of the counties in which he held land - Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Hanging together in his new house at Weston, Long Compton, they portrayed a panoramic view across England.  

Worcestershire, the seventeenth century copy

MORE on Ralph Sheldon (pdf file)  
They were so much admired by his descendants that two of them, perhaps damaged in the Civil War (1642-46), were copied and woven a second time, in the 1670s. Many changes were made to the decorative details, including substitution of a narrower, picture frame border.  

Oxfordshire, the seventeenth century version

Only one of the Elizabethan originals has survived complete, though its original Elizabethan wide border was replaced by the narrower border seen in the new pieces. http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/Web/corporate/pages.nsf/Links/D9E72D711175B668802572E3002EDAD5

Two of the other Elizabethan maps were given to the Bodleian Library in 1809


Map of Worcestershire
Courtesy of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford


Map of Oxfordshire
Courtesy of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

MORE on the background to the Tapestry Maps


Later Worcestershire tapestry map: 3.96m x 6.70m. Wool and silk

Museum number T.261-1960

Bodleian Library Tapestries

Oxfordshire: 12.ft 6 inches x 16 feet; 3.82 x 4.88 m.
Worcestershire:13 ft 9 inches x 16 ft 9 inches;
                          4.20 x 5.11 m.



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