The Tapling Tapestry, as it is known, is actually a carpet, showing Christ blessing the children.
It has been hanging, untouched, in St Mary’s church for 135 years, but the dirt and grime of more than a century had made it almost impossible to see just what the tapestry depicted.
Wrawby History Group decided to try to fund a project to restore, repair and conserve the tapestry and was successful in its bid for a community grant from North Lincolnshire Council.
Together with further financial support from Wrawby Parish Council and descendants of the original donor’s family, the restoration of the carpet finally became a reality.
Work on the tapestry, which is listed as one of the 100 treasures of North Lincolnshire, was carried out by the Landi Company, textile conservationists based at Burghley House, Stamford.
“The restored tapestry has now been re-hung in Wrawby church in its original position, appropriately, on the wall of the nave above the christening font,” said Kay Rothery of Wrawby History Group.
“It is possible to see the beautiful story the tapestry tells, now that the renovation has been completed.”
Thomas Tapling donated the tapestry to the people of Wrawby in 1882, after it had been exhibited internationally.
Thomas was born in Wrawby in 1818 and became a successful and wealthy carpet merchant with an international reputation for quality merchandise.
But he never forgot his roots and was a benefactor to the National School in Wrawby and also established a public reading room in the village.
“It [the tapestry] is available to be admired in the church, with further literature containing a more in depth history of the tapestry,” added Kay. “It is hoped that many people will now visit the church to view the tapestry.”
St Mary’s Church is the oldest surviving building in the village and is thought to be Anglo-Saxon in origin.
The current structure has a 13th-century tower and pillars.