Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Imogen Corrigan gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘The Bayeux Tapestry’.  Drawing on her military background and extensive knowledge, she brought to life the story woven by the tapestry.

The Bayeux Tapestry tells the story of the Norman Conquest, from the Norman point of view, in a long series of delightfully detailed embroidered pictures.  Evidence in the work suggests a large team of embroiderers, probably women, with varying skill standards but with the design by one man, possibly Bishop Odo, William’s half-brother.  It is 70 metres long and an embroidery rather than a tapestry.  There are clues throughout that it was probably made in England.

Initially, it depicts the scene for the disputed claim to the English crown, which follows Edward the Confessor’s death.  It shows Harold’s journey to France, his rescue from Guy of Ponthieu by William and his taking of an oath of allegiance to William.  The tapestry continues with the whole story of William’s campaign, building the ships, landing in Sussex, building a castle, subduing the natives, as well as a long and detailed account of the Battle of Hastings and Harold’s death.  It ends with a panel showing the English in flight but this is a 19th Century forgery.  The logical conclusion of William’s coronation is missing.


The Bayeux Tapestry by Imogen Corrigan