THE RURAL HISTORY CENTRE includes the Museum of English Rural Life
Museum of English Rural Life


The Festival of Britain
The Wall Hanging
Michael O’Connell
Stained Glass Panel
Susan Moxley

Index to Online Exhibitions


Michael O'Connell’s textile art produced for the Festival of Britain inspires Susan Moxley's Stained Glass window at MERL

The Wall hanging and a Window

Following the Festival of Britain in 1951, the museum acquired a variety of items that had been on display in the Festival of Britain’s Country Pavilion.

Michael O'Connell watching work on the wall hanging

Michael O'Connell watching work on the wall hanging

The backdrop for the Pavilion's upper level was a magnificent wall hanging, 56 metres long and almost 4 metres high showing images of farming life throughout the British Isles. The wall hanging was the work of textile artist Michael O'Connell who worked in batik and resist dyeing techniques.

The wall hanging is too big and too fragile to display in the museum and has to stay in safe storage to protect it for the future. This online exhibition gives you the chance to see it.

Susan Moxley working on the stained glass window

When the new building for the Museum of English Rural Life was planned, Oxfordshire artist, Susan Moxley was commissioned to produce a stained glass window for the new display area. Once she saw Michael O'Connell's wall hanging, she decided to reflect that character and spirit of farming life in her window. The window (4 by 3 metres) now provides a wonderful feature visible to all visitors.


The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, UK.
Email: Telephone: 0118 378 8660