The Peredur Tapestry

Published 07/02/2024   |   Last Updated 07/02/2024   |   Reading Time minutes

Martin Weatherhead, Snail Trail Handweavers, Pembrokeshire

Sponsored by Paul Davies MS

Dates: 15 March - 30 April 2024

Location: Senedd Neuadd

Martin was inspired to weave this colourful tapestry by a single moment in the story of Peredur. 

The Peredur story originates from a late medieval manuscript entitled The White Book of Rhydderch (c.1325). This and The Red Book of Hergest (c.1400) form the eleven stories of the Welsh Mabinogion.

The tale of Peredur is of a naive youth aspiring to become a knight. Humiliated at the Court of King Arthur, Peredur sets out to prove his valour.

On his travels, he encounters a magic valley. On the river bank a tall tree stands half in flames and half in full leaf, unconsumed by the fire. A flock of white sheep and a flock of black sheep graze separately on each bank. When a white sheep bleats, a black sheep crosses the river and becomes white and when a black sheep bleats, a white sheep crosses the river and becomes black.

In these images Martin sees tones of redemption – that states are not permanent and can change in either direction. He was totally immersed for 4 years designing, dyeing threads and weaving this huge 2m x 4m tapestry. He took care to match the bi-lingual lettering on his tapestry with the calligraphy of The White book of Rhydderch and adopted the medieval millefleur style, weaving flora and fauna into the tapestry foreground.