Battle of Pinkie Cleugh tapestry to go on display in Edinburgh

31 August 2023
Mary Queen of Scots and Mary of Guise are key figures featured on a panel of the Pinkie Cleugh tapestry that goes on display from 1 September 2023.

The panel, portraying Mary Queen of Scots and her mother, Mary of Guise, is the first completed panel of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh tapestry. The tapestry will feature another five panels telling the story of the last battle to be fought on Scottish soil between the crowns of Scotland and England. 

What was the battle of Pinkie Cleugh?

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh took place on 10 September 1547 on the banks of the River Esk near Musselburgh, Scotland. The last pitched battle between Scotland and England before the Union of the Crowns, it was part of the conflict known as the Rough Wooing and is considered to have been the first modern battle in the British Isles.

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The battle was a catastrophic defeat for Scotland, where it became known as ‘Black Saturday’. A highly detailed and illustrated English account of the battle and campaign authored by an eyewitness was published in London as propaganda four months after the battle. 

The Pinkie Cleugh tapestry

The development of the tapestry was led by East Lothian artist Andrew Crummy, who is also behind many other Scottish tapestries, including the Battle of Prestonpans and Great Tapestry of Scotland. The needlework, carried out by a team of local stitchers, tells the story of the battle as well as the history of the Musselburgh area. 

The launch event, which is being attended by The Pinkie Cleugh Battlefield and Tapestry Group members and stitchers and invited guests, will take place at Queen Margaret University on 31 August from 7-9pm. An open viewing for members of the public will take place on Friday 1st September between 12 noon and 4pm in the Piano Bar at Queen Margaret University’s main academic building. Entry to the exhibition is free. 

Report and image courtesy of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.