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Bayeux tapestry

Bayeux tapestry. This so-called tapestry is in fact an embroidery that chronicles the Norman Conquest of England by William the Conqueror (William I) in 1066. It is a long, narrow strip of coarse linen, 230 ft by 20 in. (70 m by 51 cm), embroidered in worsteds of eight colors in couching and stem stitch. The embroidery is a valuable document on the history and the costumes of the time. Its provenance and date have long been disputed. Tradition attributes it to Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, and her handmaidens; but it is now thought to be of somewhat later origin and possibly the work of English embroiderers. The embroidery is preserved in the Bayeux Museum.

See Sir Eric Maclagan, The Bayeux Tapestry (1945); F. Stenton et al., The Bayeux Tapestry (2d ed., rev. and enl., 1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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