Most will know that since 2016 the Battle Trust in Prestonpans, which already has the original Prestonpans Tapestry, has been responsible for its exhibitions programme. It is intended that as soon as maybe both tapestries will be permanently displayed in a Living History Centre in Prestonpans. Clearly it’s not an easily achieved goal and it’s already had setbacks, but the determination remains. Next steps are now being planned and support has come from the Heritage Lottery’s Resilience Fund as described below.
Presently, the Diaspora Tapestry is currently on display until October in Garioch’s Heritage Centre in Inverurie and next year will be at New Lanark Mills and Glasgow’s Episcopalian Cathedral.
Heritage Lottery Fund supports project to resolve this unavoidable question:
Where next for the 1745 Prestonpans Battle Heritage Trust?
The 1745 Battle Trust in Prestonpans has already received over £100,000 in donations towards a Living History Centre and permanent home for the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry. However, its first ambitious multimillion pound proposal in 2016 to restore and use the auld BathHouse at Prestongrange Heritage Museum was not supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund [HLF]. But their constructive feedback was taken on board and HLF has now made a £36,300 Resilience Grant to the Trust to seek to resolve the unavoidable question: Where Next?
The project which will also be part funded by the Trust’s existing donors has three elements.
First an External Critique and Audit of all that has been both done and planned so far will be undertaken. The Trust has been at work conserving and interpreting the battle since 2006 and has invested almost £1m over its first decade including creating in 2010 the now world famous 104m Prestonpans Tapestry designed by Andrew Crummy and stitched across France and the Highlands. Are its ambitions achievable and if so how?
Secondly and in parallel the Trust will itself conduct a comparative analysis of how battle sites across the UK and importantly widely across the world are successfully led and developed; and how focussed tapestries are conserved and shared. This element will very deliberately also explore the educational benefits achieved by Living History approaches.
The results of these first two elements will come together to determine the 1745 Prestonpans Battle Trust’s Draft Manifesto for the Next Decade. That Draft Manifesto will then be shared with and debated amongst all national and local stakeholders, taking on board appropriate ideas that emerge, to attain a nationally agreed Manifesto. On that shared and agreed basis the Trust will move forward, investing its donors’ £100,000 contributions, seeking further support as it goes, to ensure that agreed future happens.
Gordon Prestoungrange, Joint Chairman of the 1745 Prestonpans Battle Trust said:
“We welcome everyone’s input and this invitation to external critique and audit is deliberate and honest on our part. We do believe we’ve come a very long way since 2006 with interpretation and conservation of our battlesite including our spectacular re-enactments, and we are immensely proud of our unique Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry …. but we’ve no monopoly of best practices. We think the right way to achieve the Trust’s goals is to reach comprehensive well researched agreement – our Agreed Manifesto for the Next Decade. And then we shall do all we can to deliver it. It’s clearly a big task. But so was the challenge Bonnie Prince Charlie faced and he won the day in Prestonpans. So must we.”
The 2018 Prestonpans Re-enactments are to be held on September 15th/ 16th this year at Greenhills of which full details are available @ DIRECTLY HERE