Wanborough Stitched Map


The award winning, Wanborough Parish Map is displayed in St Andrews Church Wanborough. Taking 5 years to complete, this piece of art work was inspired by Barbara Parnell and became a community project for Wanborough residents, bringing together the whole village, old and young, newcomers and established villagers.

The project commenced in 1991 and was completed in 1995. The core creative team comprised of;
  • Barbara Parnell
  • Janine Brown - Map designer
  • Dawn Hopkins
  • Lorelei Hunt
  • Catherine Archer
Over 150 villagers and friends, aged 5 to 86, contributed to the piece and their names have been embroidered on the borders.
The overall design was created by Janine Brown and depicts a view of Wanborough Parish in 1991, with the southern chalk downlands at the top and the northern marsh at the bottom.

It is a stitched map and comprises of many different needle crafted items which were worked on separately and then attached to the base map of the parish. The many techniques used include;
  • Felting
  • Embroidery
  • Cross Stitch
  • Knitting
  • Machine Embroidery
The map weighs approximately 5 Kilograms. The overall size is 2.67 meters tall by 1.09 meters wide. It is housed in a glass fronted oak cabinet, made by Focus interiors, which sits atop three carved limestone corbels.

Funds raised for the project costs were given by; The map history

Wanborough is a Domesday village set in a line of settlements along the northern edge of the Wiltshire Downs. It is an ancient village with a long history, set in a rural landscape of outstanding natural beauty and close to the eastern perimeter of Swindon. In the 40 years prior to 1990 the village population had more than doubled with the building of new housing on open fields between Upper and Lower Wanborough. Whilst this created pressure on village facilities it also brought the added benefit of revitalising the village, a new school, skills and ideas from new residents.

Barbara Parnell was the Parish Council Chair at this time and had a keen interest in Parish Map Ideas. Barbara conceived the concept of creating a map of Wanborough Parish as a method of bringing together the community. It would provide an opportunity for all to express what they considered the important elements of the village were at that time.

The base map was created by Janine Brown, who designed the main framework of the map incorporating natural divisions of the landscape and the road structure. It comprised of a simplified map of the parish from the south at the top to the north at the bottom. Crowned with a rainbow arching over the downs and farmland of the Wanborough Plain, the fabrics used show the yellows, browns and greens of the field network. The heart of the village is depicted in brown fabrics with the network of knitted roads, produced by Dawn Hopkins, weaving between. Lighter green materials were then used to show the fields to the north and darker green fabrics at the bottom where the parish edges on to Swindon and its urban environment. The four corners represent the seasons. Each has been embroidered by members of the core creative team. Detailed are the flora and fauna found in the parish as the seasons pass.

At the same time as the base map was being created the village community were being engaged in the project. Open meetings and sewing sessions were held each week giving opportunity for people to become involved and get to know each another. The children at the Primary school were also given the chance to contribute as Janine ran sessions there too. Members of the parish council were given kits containing all that was needed to make trees and shrubs. The villagers provided the elements which bring the map alive, the buildings they lived in and important village landmarks, including the church, pubs, shops, hall and schools. They also created the birds, animals, flowers and insects.

The final finished artwork was dedicated on 15th January 1995 at St Andrews Church. It was entered into the Community Project section at "Quilts UK 1996" held at The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, where it won First prize and was awarded the Simply Scissors Cup.

Burycroft & The Marsh



Kite Hill & Rotten Row



Lower Wanborough



Southern Plains



Upper Wanborough