‘If I wasn’t gardening, I was sewing’ - Vivienne puts in 445 hours to create stunning Castle tapestry

Volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle, with her finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry,

Volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle, with her finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry: Picture: Norfolk Museums Service - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

They say a stitch in time saves nine.

Part of the finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, made b

Part of the finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, made by volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle. Picture: Norfolk Museums Service - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

So keen embroider Vivienne Tuddenham must have saved millions after spending 445 hours on part of a large Bayeux-inspired tapestry.

The 71-year-old, from South Walsham Road in Acle, completed the second panel for the Norwih Friends Tapestry in July after starting it in April 2019.

Part of the finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, made b

Part of the finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, made by volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle. Picture: Norfolk Museums Service - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

Her intricate work is on linen which is 50cm high and between 93cm and 186cm long.

It will join together with other panels made by over 20 volunteers to form a 19 metre-long tapestry.

The finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, made by volunt

The finished panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, made by volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle. Picture: Norfolk Museums Service - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service


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The display will be on show in the King’s Chamber of Norwich Castle Keep after multi-million pound revamp and picks up the tale where the Bayeux Tapestry ends looking at events in the decade following William I’s conquest of England.

MORE: Massive 136ft crane hoisted into place for Norwich Castle revampMrs Tuddenham, who has always enjoyed sewing since she was 14, said: “Having the tapestry to do during lockdown was such a help. Being retired and confined to home for quite a while seemed to pass quite quickly - if I wasn’t gardening, then I was sewing, my two favourite things to do.

Volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle, who embroided a panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, ins

Volunteer Vivienne Tuddenham, from Acle, who embroided a panel for the Norwich Friends Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry: Picture: Norfolk Museums Service - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the panel and I am looking forward, soon I hope, to seeing all the panels together and seeing how we then do all the joining up of the sections and finish the stitching.”

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She added it was her largest piece of sewing and enjoyed using different materials and methods to what she is used to.

The grandmother usually embroiders images of birds with fine single thread but the tapestry project panel used thick wool and the Bayeux stitch, which derives from the Bayeux Tapestry.

“It is lovely that it will be on display in casle where my grandchildren can see it,” Mrs Tuddenham added.

MORE: 1066 and all that - the sequel to the Bayeux Tapestry is being stitched in NorfolkThe 71-year-old, who achieved a City and Guilds embroidery qualification about 10 years ago, loved sewing because she could “get lost in it”.

Her panel depicts the year 1075 when William I was facing the last serious act of rebellion of his reign, known as The Revolt of the Earls.

It shows Ralph de Guader, Earl of East Anglia, Roger de Breteuil, Earl of Hereford and Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria.

Dr Agata Gomolka, project assistant curator, said: “It’s been amazing to watch the resilient progress of our tapestry embroiderers during lockdown.”

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