'To beautify his hall': Ralph Sheldon's tapestry maps in the Bodleian Library
5 December 2019
Ralph Sheldon’s four tapestry maps were an unusual decorative choice for the 1590s. Rescued by the antiquary Richard Gough, damaged even then, three, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, now belong to the Library; the fourth hangs in the county it shows, Warwickshire.
In colours still fresh, each depicted the natural and the man-made countryside, focused on a county where Sheldon owned land and had friends and family. How, and why, were they designed and woven?