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The Purpose of the Bayeux Tapestry

What was the original purpose of the Bayeux Tapestry? It is unlikely that it was intended for display in William’s courts.

William had courts at Fécamp, Rouen, Caen, Bayeux, Bonneville-sur-Toque, Winchester, Westminster and Gloucester so if it were intended for display in the courts it would presumably have been fashioned in more portable dimensions.

Although there are no sure references to the Tapestry until 1476 where it is linked in Bayeux Cathedral, Council of Aras in 1025 had authorized and recommended that the ecclesiastical authorities should use hangings for the edification of the faithful.

The consecration of Bayeux Cathedral in 1077 would have been an ideal opportunity for Bishop Odo to display the new work, and as can be seen from the photo montage below, the tapestry is the right size to fit in the nave of the cathedral.

It is likely, then, that this was the original purpose of the Bayeux Tapestry.

See also: Architecture and Math Show the Bayeux Tapestry Was Designed to Decorate a Cathedral

image: Leo Delauncey