The Tale Begins


Creating the Image

New Views

Learn More

Contact Us

Read More

<-- Previous Next -->

©The Marquess of Salisbury,
Hatfield House


WW.K.Bedford, ‘The Weston tapestry maps’, Geographical Journal, ix 1896, 211-215

E.M.Jourdain, ‘The Tapestry Manufacture at Barcheston’, in Alice Dryden, Memorials of Old Warwickshire, 1908, 30-38

A.F. Kendrick, Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogue of Tapestries, London 1914

A.F. Kendrick, ‘The Hatfield Tapestries of the Seasons’, Walpole Society Annual, ii 1912-13, 89-95

Victoria and Albert Museum, Portfolios, Tapestry, n.d.?1915

John Humphreys, ‘The Sheldon Tapestry Maps of Worcestershire’, Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeological Society, xliii, 1918, 4-22

J. Humphreys, ‘Some Recently Discovered Elizabethan Sheldon Tapestries, Country Life, October 9 1920, pp.463-4

John Humphreys, ‘Elizabethan Sheldon Tapestries’, Archaeologia 74, 1924, 181-202, reprinted as a monograph with the same title, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1929, without the discussion following the lecture. Many mistakes, most corrected in Barnard and Wace 1928.

A.F. Kendrick, Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogue of Tapestries, London, second edition 1924

A.F. Kendrick, ‘Some Barcheston Tapestries’, Walpole Society, xiv, 1925-26, 27-42

E.A.B.Barnard and A.J.B.Wace, ‘The Sheldon tapestry weavers and their work’, Archaeologia 78, 1928, 255-314

A.J.B.Wace, Some Tapestries in the Collection of Sir William Burrell, Old Furniture, vol. 5, 1928, 78-82

A.J.B.Wace, ‘A pair of gloves with tapestry-woven gauntlets’, Embroideress, no.42, 1932, 990-994, figs 1336-7-9

G. Wingfield-Digby, ‘English Tapestries at Birmingham’, Burlington Magazine, 93, September 1951, 295-6

G. Wingfield-Digby, ‘Some Important English Tapestries displayed at Birmingham in 1951’, The Connoisseur, cxxix, (Jan-June) 1952, 9-14

G. Wingfield-Digby, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Catalogue of Tapestries Medieval and Renaissance, London 1980 (includes two pieces found since 1928)

E. Mercer, English Art 1553-1625, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1962

E. A. Standen, European post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1985 (includes two pieces found since 1928)

A. Wells-Cole, ‘Some design sources for the Earl of Leicester’s tapestries and other contemporary pieces’, Burlington Magazine, cxxv, no 962, May 1983, 284

A. Wells-Cole, ‘The Elizabethan Sheldon tapestry maps’, Burlington Magazine, June 1990, cxxxii, no 1047, 392-401

W. Hefford, ‘Flemish Tapestry Weavers in England:1550-1775’, in Flemish Tapestry Weavers Abroad, ed. Guy Delmarcel, Leuven University Press, 2002, 43-61

P. Barber and T. Harper, Magnificent Maps, 2010; the C17 Oxfordshire tapestry map, 56-59

M. Bath, The Four Seasons Tapestries at Hatfield House, Archetype, 2013

E. Cleland and Lorraine Karafel, Tapestries from the Burrell Collection, London 2017.


Hilary L. Turner

‘“A wittie devise”: the Sheldon tapestry maps belonging to the Bodleian Library, Oxford’, Bodleian Library Record, 17, no.5, April 2002, 293-313

‘The Sheldon Tapestry map of Warwickshire’ Warwickshire History, 12, 2002, 32-44

‘Finding the Weavers; Richard Hyckes and the Sheldon Tapestry works’, Textile History, 33, no. 2, November 2002, 137-161

‘The Sheldon Tapestry Maps: their Content and Context’, The Cartographic Journal, 40 no1, June 2003, 39-49

‘Pride and Patriotism Mapped in Wool’, The Map Book, ed. Peter Barber, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005, 128-9

‘The Yorkshire Philosophical Society’s ‘Sheldon’ tapestry Maps’, Annual of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, 2006

‘Oxfordshire in Wool and Silk: Ralph Sheldon ‘the Great’s’ tapestry map of Oxfordshire’, Oxoniensia, lxxi, 2007, 67-72

‘Tapestries once at Chastleton House and their influence on the image of the tapestries called Sheldon: a re-assessment’, Antiquaries Journal, 88, 2008, 313-46

‘Tapestry strips depicting the Prodigal Son; how safe is an attribution to Mr Sheldon’s tapestry venture at Barcheston?’ Archaeologia Aeliana, fifth series 37, 2008, 183-196

‘Walter Jones of Witney, Worcester and Chastleton: rewriting the past’, Oxoniensia 73, 2008, 33-43

No Mean Prospect: Ralph Sheldon’s Tapestry Maps, Plotwood Press, 2010
available from wyncott721@gmail.com

‘Some small tapestries with Judith and the head of Holofernes: should they be called Sheldon ?’ , Textile History, 41(2), 2010, 161-81

‘Working Arras and Arras Workers : Conservation in the Great Wardrobe under Elizabeth I’ Textile History, 42(2), 2012, 43-60. With this is associated :

‘A case of mistaken identity : the “Sheldon” Four Seasons tapestries at Hatfield House re-considered’, Emblematica 19, 2012, 1-27

Transplanted: a floral tapestry-woven table carpet once at Knole, Kent
H. L Turner

‘The Tapestry Trade in Elizabethan London’, The London Journal, 38(1), March 2013, 18-33

‘In Stately View’: Ralph Sheldon’s map of Gloucestershire’, Bodleian Library Record, vol. 31, nos 1-2, April-October 2018



V&A Portfolios, Tapestry, n.d.?1915.

Catalogue of the loan exhibition of English decorative Art at Lansdowne House, February 17-28th 1929; two editions, one on sale at doors, the other a hardback deluxe illustrated limited edition with different numbering, London 1929.

Loan Exhibition Depicting the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, 22&23 Grosvenor Place London 26 Jan-26 March 1933.

Royal Academy of Arts, Exhibition of British Art c.1000-1860, 6 January-10 March 1934.

An Exhibition of Treasures from Midland Homes, 2 November – 2 December 1938, City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, no. 45.

Wingfield-Digby, George, 1951 Festival of Britain in Birmingham, An Exhibition of Tapestries, 11 July-26 August 1951.

2000 Years of Tapestry Weaving, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford Connecticut, December 1951 - 27 January 1952; nos 105, 106, 107.

Vigo-Sternberg Galleries, London, 400 Years of English Tapestries, November 1-12, 1971, nos. 1,2,3.

Exhibitions of material in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow 1949; for the Festival of Britain, 1951 and in 1969

The Elizabethan Midlands, An exhibition of later 16th century art objects with a Midland provenance and in Midland Collections, 22 June – 30 September 1979, Birmingham.

The Treasure Houses of Britain, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985, no. 33.

The Needles’ Prayse, Glasgow, 23 February – 14 May 1995

The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Gloucestershire, The Bodleian Library, Oxford, January 23 – February 22 2008.

Tudor and Stuart Textiles 1485-1688, Franses New York, 10 December 2008-20 February 2009

Cleland, Elizabeth, and Karafel, Lorraine, Tapestries from the Burrell Collection, London 2017.

Talking Maps, Nick Millea and J.R. Brotton, Bodleian Library Publishing, Oxford, 2018

Five major errors in this 1000 word text render this account of the lefthand section of the much damaged Gloucestershire tapestry almost useless.

It was not Ralph Sheldon who set up the tapestry works – his father laid out plans PROB 11/53/79.

Only two of the Elizabethan tapestries were re-woven in simplified versions in the seventeenth century.

They were not commissioned by Ralph’s grandson (who was not called Edward) but by his great grandson, Ralph ‘the Great’ d. 1684 whose arms are in the Oxfordshire tapestry.

The Elizabethan tapestries, sections of which are now in the Bodleian, are not identifiable in the 1781 sale of the contents of Weston House; the ones which were sold on that occasion are those with picture frame borders – Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Finally, when complete, the panorama presented by the four tapestries together extended into Kent, shown on the Oxfordshire tapestry; it did not end at London.


Page revised 13 February 2022


Page 30