A campaign to bring Henry VIII’s 16th Century artwork to the North East is one step closer to success.

The Auckland Project has reached the £1m milestone through donations since beginning its campaign to bring Henry VIII’s tapestry to Bishop Auckland in 2023. The charity hopes to home the artwork in The Faith Museum at Auckland Castle.

With the price tag on the tapestry sitting at £4.1m, the charity is hoping for the remaining £3.1m to be funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund before the deadline in March 2024.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The tapestry will hopefully be housed at the Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland.The tapestry will hopefully be housed at the Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland. (Image: PR)

The artwork, titled Saint Paul Directing the Burning of the Heathen Books, was commissioned by Henry VIII in 1535. It demonstrates destruction under Henry VIII’s reign in silk, wool and gold and silver thread, measuring in at 18-feet-wide by 11-feet-tall.

Thought to have been missing for 200 years, the tapestry was rediscovered in Spain in the 1970s and was identified as being that of Henry VIII in 2014.

The Chief Executive Officer of The Auckland Project, Edward Perry, said: “Being able to bring a historically significant and unique artefact to Bishop Auckland would be a huge honour for The Auckland Project.

“Local people of all ages have delved enthusiastically into the tapestry’s rich history and the region has been incredibly generous and supportive of our campaign. Bishop Auckland is a special place, worthy of a treasure like this.”

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“With the support from people, charities and companies, we’ve reached the crucial £1million target and we are truly grateful to everyone that’s donated.

“The Just Giving link will remain open for several weeks, until we hear back from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in March about our bid for support. We hope to hang this special piece of history in a suitably grand and important home, our newly opened Faith Museum.”

If you wish to donate to the cause, please visit the Just Giving link: https://shorturl.at/hkprJ.