Beechworth Town Hall Tapestry

Beechworth Town Hall Tapestry was a community project with Beechworth Arts Council as auspice. It began in 1983 and was completed for Australia’s bicentennial celebrations of European settlement in 1988.

Incorporating historic images of the township and its residence, the now iconic tapestry has become a valuable reference point for visitors to the town and locals alike.

The image design was developed by Leonie Bessant from the Victorian Tapestry Workshop (now Australian Tapestry Workshop) with the reference materials assembled by residents across the Beechworth community. The tapestry is all wool and was painstakingly woven sideways on the loom over a three months period by Leonie Bessant and Robyn Daw.

Along with historic photographs, the Tapestry montage incorporates the famous Reedy Creek Falls Lithograph by Eugene von Guerard. In the pre-computer era, the transferring of large images for use in a tapestry was a detailed, highly skilled and complex business.

Funds for the Town Hall Tapestry were raised by the community, from state and federal government grants and from private donors. The donors names are shown on the wooden plaque on the wall opposite the tapestry in Beechworth’s historic Town Hall.

The completed tapestry was unveiled on December 02, 1988 by the project patron and television presenter Bill Peach – one time the compere of ABC’s This Day Tonight, the precursor of the 7:30 Report.

Beechworth Town Hall Tapestry, completed in 1988
Beechworth Town Hall Tapestry as it hangs in the Town Hall
Thread colours used in the Tapestry
Leonie Bessant’s original design for the Tapestry
Tapestry detail – lower left hand corner

Beechworth Arts Council Membership details (click here)