Stunning tapestry back on display at Cannon Hall Museum after conservation

A historic tapestry, part of the Cannon Hall Museum collection, has been conserved with the aid of a grant from the AIM Pilgrim Trust Conservation Scheme and with the help of donations from supporters of Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust.


The project, which cost around £25,500, conserved the beautiful 17th Century Tapestry - The Judgement of Paris, which has hung in the Ballroom at Cannon Hall Museum since it arrived in the 1950s. 


The tapestry has particular significance as it was the first item accessioned into the museum and has the catalogue number A1. It was part of a bequest made by Ernest Edward Cook, grandson of Thomas Cook of travel agent fame, who left his collection to the Art Fund to distribute as they saw fit. 


The tapestry was woven in Brussels in the late 17th century and shows a scene from the Greek myth ‘The Judgement of Paris’. Tapestries were very popular at this time as they provided rooms with both warmth and decoration. At Cannon Hall Museum it has been the backdrop of many weddings and special occasions. Despite its immense popularity with visitors, it was in such a state of disrepair that it was taken down due to its poor condition. 


The conservation work included washing the tapestry, mending splits and holes and other areas of damage as well as lining the reverse with appropriate fabric to make it stable for decades into the future.


It has now been brought back to life, conserved for generations to come, and is back on display in the Ballroom at Cannon Hall Museum. The 18th-century Georgian Country House is free to enter and is home to an outstanding collection of fine and decorative art.


Councillor Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Barnsley’s art collections are a real asset for our borough. We must preserve and protect them for future generations to come. Through the hard work of Barnsley Museums and Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust in seeking funding to make such important repairs, these cherished objects will be enjoyed by visitors for many years. We would like to thank the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme for making this conservation possible.”


For more information about Cannon Hall Museum visit