The Sheldon tapestry is installed by National Trust and Bodleian conservators in the new Western Library at the Bodleian.

The map of Worcestershire from 1590s describes mysterious event in the hills near ‘The Worldesend’ that happened among the villages, streams and windmills of Elizabethan Worcestershire is to go on public display for the first time in centuries at Oxford’s Bodleian library.

Exactly what happened, somewhere north of Kynaston and south of Edgbaston, in the 1590s remains a mystery, but the tapestry’s woven text is emphatic: the hilly landscape, near a village ominously named as “The Worldesend”, “was dryven downe by the removyng of the ground”.

“Earthquake? Landslide? Quarrying? We just don’t know,” says Nick Millea, map librarian at the Bodleian. “It’s one of the many things in this map I’d love to follow up one day.”

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