Fun With History: The Bayeux Tapestry

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Look! GeekDad was a part of the Norman Conquest! Image assembled by Jenny Williams using the Historic Tale Construction Kit.
Look! GeekDad was a part of the Norman Conquest! Image assembled by Jenny Williams using the Historic Tale Construction Kit.

Possibly not actually a real tapestry, but rather an embroidered piece of cloth, this English and French-ish bit of history dates back to the 1070s. Approximately 230 feet long (you read that right), the Bayeux Tapestry tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England, ending in the Battle of Hastings. The scenes are accompanied by plenty of Latin describing what you’re seeing. There is plenty of debate and mystery surrounding the tapestry’s origins, but regardless, it dates to the Middle Ages and is connected with England and France.

Now on to the fun bits.

Originally put together by a German named Björn Karnebogen, the Historic Tale Construction Kit was a browser-based do-it-yourself Bayeux Tapestry collage kit. It has now been redone by Johannes Jander and is still great fun. Design your own medieval tapestry for fun and no profit! I discovered this bit of fun several years ago and we played around with it during one of our Middle Ages years in homeschool. I recently stumbled across it again. Someone made a sarcastic image with the Historic Tale Construction Kit, addressing the commonly held misbelief that homeschooled kids don’t have any socialization opportunities, despite spending all of their time with a variety of people of all ages.

This image put together by the good people at Peace Hill Press, using the Historic Tale Construction Kit.
This image put together by the good people at Peace Hill Press, using the Historic Tale Construction Kit.

Whether you homeschool or not, use this fun website as your next lesson in medieval history. The Bayeux Tapestry is an important bit of European and art history. You can even visit it on your next trip to Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, France.

Get the Official GeekDad Books!