Block A, Centre House
Friday 13th April 2012
Heritage volunteer Sue Stokes is recreating the type of tapestries Mary, Queen of Scots would have made during her imprisonment at a Yorkshire castle.
Sue, a volunteer wood worker at Gayle Mill in Wensleydale, is making the creations for nearby Bolton Castle, where Mary was imprisoned for about six months.
It is known that Mary made tapestries when she was imprisoned in the Dale, and had others sent to her to make the castle suitable for a royal guest.
Sue, a founding member of the Friends of Bolton Castle and a volunteer, has combined her skills to make the wooden frame and the embroidery. It depicts a gleade, a kite, reflecting Mary's interest in birds of prey.
She said: "If ever the tapestry is dismantled the story of where it came from will be preserved. The frame has been branded with the Gayle Mill logo and a written description attached to its back. I have also hidden my initials and date, SAS 2012, on the edge of the embroidery."
Sue's latest tapestry, which took a year to make, will be displayed alongside three other pieces of her work in the Bed Chamber where Mary slept, between July 1568 and January 1569.
Katie Boggis, general manager, at Bolton Castle, said: "Sue's tapestries really add to the sense of history in Mary, Queen of Scots' bedchamber. Visitors can imagine Mary spending long hours sitting over her embroidery while she waited for Elizabeth to decide her fate.
"Each of the tapestries displayed in the room has an information sheet explaining the image depicted and the background behind it. They really add to the colour and interpretation of the room. We are very grateful to Sue for the many many hours of work she has put into creating these beautiful pieces for us."
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