May 31 -Our trip to Hastings to attend the unveiling of the Battle Tapestry

And some church micros on our way back to Burford.

Hello from 1066 – Medieval Mosaic

Tina Greene and her embroiders have finished ‘The Battle Embroidery‘ and we have been invited to the grand opening today at the Battle Abbey School. We are very honoured to be invited as special guests having also put our stitches into the tapestry into the panels with the flock of sheep. We decided the sheep scene was appropriate given our profession of wool knitting for the past 31 years at ‘The Giant Jersey‘ in Geraldine, NZ.

We met up with many people who we met and became friends with during our time in Hastings. Kate Russell, founder and project organiser of the ‘Alderney  Bayeux Tapestry‘ was there and so was Kevin from Hastings Borough Council. Also, we met Chas Jones who we wrote to 15 years ago when we started our Stamford Bridge and Fulford section as he and a team in Yorkshire were making the Fulford Tapestry. It was a real thrill to meet him in person and hope to see the Fulford Tapestry soon.

An address was made by the Queen’s representative for East Sussex Lord Lieutenant, Mr Peter Field. Afterwards, a morning tea was put on by the school. The Abbott’s Hall is a large impressive hall with lovely stained glass windows. Tina invited us to lunch at her home with her family, Kate and Chas which was lovely at it gave all the creators of the various tapestries and mosaic to have time to talk and exchange stories.

In mid afternoon we headed back to Burford going to various churches on the way. On our way down we had been held up for ages around Tunbridge with road works so we decided to detour this time to avoid that. Just as we turned off we saw Christ Church, Kilndown and as luck would have it, a church micro. Even luckier still the church was open so we popped in there first. Wow, what a find! When you have visited as many churches as we have you don’t expect to be so overwhelmed. The font, pulpit, roofs, corbels, tombs….. Then the fantastic screen, painted organ, chandelier and stained glass windows. A real treasure and so pleased we came here. Then we trotted off to collect the numbers from an exceptional tomb, did some quick calculations and then off on a short walk to the cache. Yet another surprise! What a great village this is. I found the cache and went back to Mike who was still taking copious photos of the church. We also found a village sign here.

Then we visited St Margaret’s church in Horsmonden and All Saints church in Brenchley. The current All Saints church was built around 1233, probably standing on the site of an old wooden structure. The church stands behind an ornate lychgate erected in memory of Queen Victoria’s 60-year reign, and then behind an avenue of 400-year-old yew trees.

The Church of St Thomas à Becket, Capel, is a redundant Anglican church in the village of Capel, Kent. It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is said that Thomas Becket preached either in the church or under a yew tree in the churchyard.

The last church of the day was All Saints in Tudeley. I particularly wanted to come here as it boasts all Marc Chagall stained glass windows. Sadly by the time we got here the church was closed so although we found the geocache we will have to return to see the stained glass. Every window is a permanent reminder of a young life lost, and of the day one of the world’s most famous 20th-century painters came to a tiny hamlet in the middle of Kent. The church is the only one in the world where all the windows are painted by Chagall, and the only other Chagall window in Britain is at Chichester Cathedral.