Kids' Tapestry visits Belsay Hall in Battle of Hastings 950th anniversary year

Children helped to create sequel to the Bayeux Tapestry featuring Shakespeare, Queen Victoria and Guy Fawkes

English Heritage’s Kids’ Tapestry will visit Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland from the 28 August to the 5 September as part of a national tour celebrating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. A modern day Bayeux Tapestry, this ‘mini-sequel’ features the most important historic moments since 1066 as voted for by children across the country.

The Kids’ Tapestry was created by much-loved children’s illustrator Liz Pichon in her signature Tom Gates style and it includes the crowning of William the Conqueror in 1066 and the birth of William Shakespeare and the end of the Second World War. Children across England are being invited to complete the final panel in a nationwide competition; the invention of the World Wide Web.

Pichon will be at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens running a free workshop on the 29 August from 11am to 1pm. Children have the opportunity to get creative with the award-winning illustrator to create their own cartoon masterpiece. Places for the workshop are limited and have to be pre-booked, but all visitors to Belsay over the bank holiday can see the 8 metre long tapestry on display in the Great Hall of Belsay’s castle.

The artwork was unveiled on 1 August at the site of the Battle of Hastings, the event that inspired the Bayeux Tapestry, to mark the 950th anniversary of the most famous and arguably most important battle in English history. The tour will take it across England, visiting historic sites from Queen Victoria’s seaside home, Osborne, on the Isle of Wight to a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall.

The top 10 history moments included in The Kids’ Tapestry are:

1. William the Conqueror defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings and becomes King of England –1066

2. The sealing of the Magna Carta – 1215

3. The Black Death arrives in England – 1348

4. The Wars of the Roses begin – 1455

5. William Shakespeare is born – 1564

6. Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot are discovered – 1605

7. The Battle of Waterloo – 1815

8. Queen Victoria is crowned – 1838

9. V-E Day marks the end of the Second World War – 1945

10. Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web – 1989

English Heritage is calling upon mini-historians to design the tenth panel – the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee – and complete the tapestry. The nationwide competition runs until the end of September, with the winning design revealed on the eve of 14 October 2016, the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Lynn Rylance English Heritage Area Manager for the North East said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Kids’ Tapestry to Belsay to help with English Heritage’s 950th anniversary celebrations at the Battle of Hastings. We asked children what inspired and interested them about history and now Liz Pichon has brought their fascinating and inspiring choices to life. Over bank holiday weekend we have the Knights’ Tournament, the tapestry arriving and the workshop with Liz so it’s an action packed programme. We’re hoping kids can come along to see the tapestry for themselves and be inspired too.”

Liz Pichon, author and illustrator of the best-selling Tom Gates series, adds: “The Kids’ Tapestry is the perfect way of engaging kids with history - not only did they get to choose the moments but they will be able to complete the story. The year 1066 is one of the most important dates in English history and I’m really looking forward to seeing what designs kids come up with for the final panel.”

For more information on the campaign and to find out how you can get involved this summer, visit:

Visitors to Belsay’s Knights’ Tournament can also see the tapestry from Sunday 28 August. To book tickets to Liz Pichon’s Illustrator Workshop at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens contact the English Heritage customer services team on 0370 333 1181. Tickets are limited.