Tabulae Ltd

Threads of Time

Roman to Tudor Living history, storytelling, school visits.

Contact Information

Contact Name:
Tanya Bentham or John Watson





Threads of Time offers a variety of workshops and storytelling events for schools and museums. Contact us for details of special introductory offers for new


Modern interpretations of classic tales, performed with humour and accessible for all ages. Tales are taken from all periods of history and can be tailored to specific requirements, either by period or theme  such as Halloween, Christmas, food or nature  and specific tales can also be learnt for venues: a local folk tale, perhaps, or an historic event. For example Tanya recently performed her own interpretation of the Cauld Lad of Hylton castle for Halloween events at Newcastle and Hartlepool museums.

Favourites include:

Beowulf and Grendel - A cracking modern version of the oldest English tale, which is both funny and scary at the same time.

Philemon and Baucis - A Roman tale of gods and mortals, laced with both humour and pathos.

King Henry and the Ogre  -   Shrek for the medieval period, complete with jokes about belching!

Athene and Arachne -  The perfect complement to a textiles display.

Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough and William Cloudesly - A classic English outlaw tale.

It is possible to combine textile events with storytelling, and really spin a yarn.


An informative and visually stimulating display illustrating the craft of the leatherworker throughout history.

From the simplicity of Roman carbatina, through Viking turnshoes, right up to Tudor bearpaws, see and try on shoes both finished and under construction - You can even buy a pair. Belts, purses, bags and aprons can also be seen under construction. Leather is cut and sewn before your eyes using authentic materials and techniques.


A comprehensive and exciting display of textile art throughout history, from a specific focus on Roman or Ancient Greek techniques, right through to an overview of medieval textiles, displays can be adapted to your requirements.

Spinning, from the simplicity of the universal drop-spindle to the more complex great wheel, offers an insight into the everyday lives of women throughout history, as well as allowing for discussion of the development of technology.

Weaving, several different warp-weighted looms are available, from a child-sized working model to full and half-sized examples which are warped using handspun and dyed threads. Tablet (card) weaving can also be demonstrated, from simple repeat patterns through to more complex double weaves and gold brocading.

A stunning embroidery display is also available, with finished examples of techniques from appliqué to gold brocading, and including working examples, some of which tell stories and all of which lead the public into detailed discussions of all aspects of life from marriage customs to court life.

Textiles displays combine wonderfully with storytelling, Athene and Arachne beautifully illustrates the importance of weaving, the tale of the three fates of classical mythology intertwine with my spinning demonstrations, and several of my embroidered pieces act as “comic strips” to illustrate stories.


From the chain mail and sword of a Viking raider through to the full plate of a fourteenth century knight, many aspects of arms and armour can be presented in hands-on fashion. Displays can focus on one era, or compare and contrast several.

Shields and their uses are something of a speciality. Everything from Saxon and Viking round shields to small jousting shields can be supplied, painted or unpainted. Sheildwall workshops can also be organised.


A joy to the eye, a comfort to the hall, and a friend in time of need.

An impressive display of replica silver is available for display. Encompassing both religious and secular pieces  from crosses and chalices to spoons and jewellery  and techniques  from raised work to enamelling. Talks can be delivered on the importance of silver as both bullion and decorative art in the middle ages.

Royal displays

Take full advantage of our combined talents to sumptuous effect with our royal presentations. The king will hold court and members of the public will be instructed by the chamberlain in proper etiquette before meeting his majesty in person.

School visits

Contact Tanya for details of fun and exciting “Women From The Past” presentations that fully support the national curriculum with textiles, storytelling, and armoury. Instead of a class visit to a museum, it’s as if a living museum comes to the class!


Nieira, the Ancient Greek housewife

Claudia Marcia Capitolina, wife of a Roman Centurion

Emma, the Anglo Saxon Lady

Sif, the Viking trader

Sabine Johnson, the Tudor merchant's wife