The Bishop's Stortford Mural depicts the history of the town from the Ice Age up to 1990. It shows the buildings and architectural details, the modes of transport, the trees and some of the local personalities.
It is kept at the Rhodes and hangs along the wall outside the entrance to the Bishop's Stortford Museum on the second floor of the Rhodes Arts Complex and comprises seven panels measuring a total of 28 feet (8.4 metres) by five feet (1.5 metres) high. The panels of the Mural were worked by 142 townspeole, including members of the Embroiderers' Guild, the Townswomen's Guild, members of the church groups in Bishop's Stortford and Little Hallingbury, school children and many needlworkers known personally to the sponsor. Buildings were often worked by people with a connection to them.
The Mural was designed and supervised by Leila Riddell, a well known teacher and writer on embroidery and founder of the Embroiderers Guild in Bishop's Stortford. The project was sponsored by Sally Howard-Smith, a former Mayor of the town, who also participated in the embroidery. In 1992, the Mural went 'on tour' to Alexandra Palace, London, and Harrogate and has encouraged many other towns and communities to commit their past to needlework.
The photographs of the Bishop's Stortford Mural were taken by Gilbert Cox, award-winning photographer at Cox Photography in Bishop's Stortford, who has given permission for them to be used to illustrate this site.