Home is where the arch is (2020)

Home is Where the Arch Is! was part of the Northfield Revealed community heritage project being run by St Laurence Church, Northfield 2020-21. 

The artwork was inspired by the 850 year old arched doorway at St Laurence’s Church, Northfield.  This arch is the OLDEST surviving piece of architecture in the whole of Birmingham! 

We felt it was about time there was a new arch for Northfield and this one is very special indeed – stitched by the community, for the community. 

It includes 195 tapestry bricks, stitched by 162 residents from Northfield and surrounding areas. The tapestry bricks have been inspired by the stitchers’ own connections to, and memories of, the area; its heritage, buildings, green spaces and lived experiences during 2020. Much of the stitching took place during the first COVID-19 national lockdown.

The first public display of the artwork was at Northfield Shopping Centre as part of Birmingham Heritage Week 2021. The Arch is now at St Laurence’s Church.

Below is a short film capturing the launch event and some of the stitchers admiring their tapestry bricks.

As we could not meet in person for the ‘great reveal’ of the tapestry due to Covid-19 restrictions, we unveiled it as a live film premiere on Facebook on Saturday 19th December 2020.


Number of individual stitchers
Number of tapestry bricks contributed

A community tapestry & history archive

As part of the project we created a photographic record of all the bricks.

We also asked stitchers to write a postcard to a future resident of Northfield in the year 2021 to create a community history archive for 2020. 

Their stitches, words and experiences are featured in this digital magazine – which can be DOWNLOADED HERE.

Fantastic to see it come together. So many contributors, so many different ‘takes’ on Northfield”

Arch admirer

“Absolutely fantastic workmanship. A pleasure to view and absorb”

Arch Admirer

“A brilliant idea and such a variety of memories of Northfield. A lot of clever people.”

Arch admirer

Discovering Northfield's heritage

We had great fun learning about Northfield’s history, heritage buildings and stories.

We even did our own exploring and made a film for Birmingham Heritage Week 2020 using the Northfield Revealed heritage trail and a selection of the stitched tapestries to guide us.

Partners and funders