The Quaker Tapestry Exhibition
Location : Kendal
Grid Ref : SD 517928
The Friends Meeting House, Stramongate, Kendal, LA9 4BH. Tel 01539 722975
Email : [email protected]
The Quaker Tapestry is an embroidery of community art, the creation of more than 4000 people in 15 countries over a period of 15 years. It shows 300 years of social history, beautifully illustrated.
Since the dawn of history, crafts people have used their skills to tell stories. Such a record is the Quaker Tapestry – a series of 77 separate narrative crewel embroidered panels, each 25 inches wide by 21 inches deep. They tell the story of the Quaker Movement over nearly 350 years. The tapestry is not an academic history, but a celebration of Quakers’ ideas and experiences since the founding of the Quaker movement by George Fox in 1652
The panel above (D10) shows three of the many Quaker scientists : John Dalton (who came from Cockermouth in Cumbria), devised the atomic theory; Arthur Stanley Eddington, was the founder of modern astrophysics, and Kathleen Lonsdale, a crystallographer was also an active peace worker. There were about 80 Quakers who were Fellows of the Royal Society.
There are embroidery demonstrations showing how the tapestries are made, and a display of Quaker costumes. Embroidery workshops and courses are also available.
There is a gift shop selling a variety of gifts based on the tapestry including books, cards, tea shirts, embroidery kits and photographic reproductions of the panels. The goods may also be ordered by mail.
The Friends’ Meeting House is a grade II* listed building, designed in 1816 by Francis Webster, and built on a site that has been used for Quaker worship for 300 years. It is regarded as one of the finest Georgian buildings in Cumbria.
The exhibition is open from April to December, Monday to Friday. There is a shop selling a variety of Quaker and tapestry related items (also available by mail order from their website).
You can get meals approved by the Vegetarian Society in the adjacent ‘Tapestry Tearooms’, (open all year Monday – Friday 10:00 – 16:30).
|Fox’s Pulpit||Firbank Fell||97: SD 619937|
|Swarthmoor Hall||Ulverston||96: SD 283773|
|Colthouse Meeting House||Hawkshead||90: SD 359982|
|Brigflatts Meeting House||Sedbergh||97: SD 642912|
|Pardshaw Meeting House||Cockermouth||89: NY 104255|
- www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk – where you can also see a small version of each of the panels.
- Wikipedia – Quaker tapestry
- www.quaker.org.uk – for general information on Quakers in Great Britain.
- Open Directory – Religious Society of Friends: History