A schools arts project celebrating the River Thames

Managed by The Millennium Tapestry Company in partnership with the Thames Heritage Trust



Online Tapestry

  Project Aim

To raise awareness and through learning to encourage active involvement in the River Thames. Schools along the River Thames are invited to take part in the Thames Heritage Tapestry, to learn more about the River and to contribute a metre square, to an artwork illustrating how the Thames has shaped and now influences their local communities.

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Managed by:

The Millennium Tapestry Company

Partnering with


Thames Heritage Trust


Thank You

'The Millennium Tapestry Company is proud to be based in Heyford Park in Oxfordshire, and we would like to thank the Dorchester Group for generously allowing us to use offices & store rooms


The Thames Heritage Tapestry project

202 schools along the length of the Thames took part in the Thames Heritage Tapestry and 133 – that's two thirds of them – returned their canvases to us, thus contributing to a wonderful single artwork, a multifaceted portrait of the river from its source to the estuary through the eyes of the children who live along its banks. We have had several great exhibitions which were visited by more than 100,000 people and attracted in addition extensive media attention including television. You can see a record of all shows in our 'News & Events' page. Please also look at all the wonderful individual canvases in the 'Online Tapestry'. Many of them have descriptions written by the schools themselves, which adds so much interest. If your school's canvas doesn't have a description yet, please e-mail one to thamestapestry@btinternet.com.

The last major show was our exhibition coinciding with the Olympic and Paralympic Games which was held in the South Transept of St Paul's Cathedral for three months from July to September 2012. The Cathedral held a Sung Evensong on 10th July in which the Rt Rev'd Michael Colclough said, “We are very pleased to have in the Cathedral the Thames Heritage Tapestry as being part of the Cultural Olympiad. You will see that it is a stunning work designed and crafted by schools on the River Thames from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire through Greater London to Southend on Sea and the Medway. It is a beautiful tapestry that unites schools and communities along the banks of the Thames and our thanks go to all who have contributed, to Lizzie Owen and to the various organisations and Trusts that have made this work possible - but, of course, our greatest thanks go to the young people whose imagination, creativity and skill are demonstrated by the tapestry."

Many thanks and congratulations to all the schools that completed their work, and we hope that the schools which didn't return their work to us in time for the exhibitions at least had a happy and valuable time working on the project. If any of them would like to frame and photograph their canvases themselves and email the photo to us we should be happy to include them in the Online Tapestry.

Do you want your canvas back in school?

Now that the programme of exhibitions has ended we are happy to return the individual framed tapestry canvases to the schools that made them. If you would like yours returned we can pack and despatch them by Parcelforce. The packages are classed as oversize and the cost of packing and despatch is £38.00 plus VAT. If you would like us to pack and send them to you please e-mail thamestapestry@btinternet.com  and we will e-mail you an invoice by return. As soon as we receive payment we will pack and despatch your canvas.

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad

We are proud and delighted that the Thames Heritage Tapestry was awarded the prestigious Inspire Mark by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which conferred on the project official recognition as a part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad celebrations. Certainly the schools’ participation, enthusiasm and hard work are the main reason why the Thames Heritage Tapestry has been given this accolade.


The historical heritage

 Wildlife and caring for the environment

Throughout the recorded history of Britain the Thames has held a pivotal position as its most important inland waterway. It has served as a boundary but also a link between different communities. It has divided different regions and even kingdoms but has also helped unite them and today it is a city on the Thames that is the capital of the entire country.

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Since the 1960s we've been cleaning up the Thames and now it is the cleaner than it has been for hundreds of years, even though there are many more people living along it.

We have 123 different species of fish alone in the tidal river and wildlife reserves all along the river are home to countless birds and animals and plants, and not just in the countryside.

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