Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Churches on Welsh Samplers

On my Little Welsh Quilt blog earlier this year,  I wrote a post about a sampler featuring Wrexham Church. 

This is what I said about it then -

It isn't anything like the Welsh samplers I have described in my earlier post. It was made in 1843, just  before the time when woollen samplers seem to burst on the scene and the Welsh language began to appear. The naming of of Wrexham Church is a obvious indication but images of churches were very common on Welsh samplers and are always an indication of Welshness. As are the flight of birds surrounding the church and the style of the tree and plant motifs.

What I find interesting, is that though Wrexham is in North Wales, this sampler displays motifs very much in the style of those found on samplers made in South Wales and this is unusual.

Though I lived in Wales for most of my life I wasn't educated here and so didn't do Welsh history hence my ignorance of the fact that this church was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and featured in a rhyme so
                         Pistyll Rhaeadr, Wrexham steeple, 
                         Snowdon's mountain without its people,  
                         Overton yew trees, St Winefride wells, 
                         Llangollen bridge and Gresford bells.

Perhaps the fame of this church means that it was an ideal motif for a Welsh sampler - it was famous throughout Wales so it is entirely possible that this sampler could have been made anywhere in Wales and would explain why I thought that it came from South Wales.  It might also be the reason why churches were regularly found on Welsh samplers.  Here are some more -

And this is a picture of the actual church -

Could it have been the reason why churches are so popular on Welsh samplers?

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