Tapestry of historic battle to go on tour

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IT WAS a conflict nearly 1,000 years ago that played a crucial role in British history.

And now Yorkshire’s answer to the Bayeux Tapestry has been completed in a lasting commemoration of the bloody onslaught at Fulford, on the outskirts of York, on September 20, 1066.

Experts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have been consulted about plans to display the work, which is due to be taken on a national tour.

The tapestry, which is nearly 20ft long, tells the story of the Norse invasion from their landing at Scarborough to the arrival of King Harald Hardrada in York after triumphing over the English forces at Fulford.

Chas Jones, who helped design the Battle of Fulford tapestry as a part of the Lottery-funded project which has taken seven years to complete, said: “We want the Fulford tapestry to tell this remarkable story as history seems to have forgotten what happened in Yorkshire in the autumn of 1066.

“We believe that tapestries were displayed in halls on feast days to remind people of the deeds of previous generations and that is what we want this tapestry to do.”

Julian Sturdy, the Conservative MP for Outer York, arranged for the tapestry to be displayed in Portcullis House in Westminster earlier this month.

The Battle of Fulford has often been dismissed as no more than a curtain-raiser to the most famous conflict on English soil. But historians have emphasised the events in Yorkshire were to have a huge impact on the Battle of Hastings.

The conflict placed the English forces under immense pressure and losses suffered in Fulford took a toll on resistance at Hastings.

While speculation remains as to the battlefield’s exact location, campaigners have claimed a major housing development planned for Fulford could be earmarked for the site. Outline planning permission for the housing scheme was granted in 2007 after a public inquiry.