Traditional well dressings are a centuries old highlight of the summer Derbyshire calendar and a delight for the visitor as the villages proudly display their creations.
Well dressing is a traditional community activity where villagers join forces to create elaborate designs based upon an agreed theme using natural materials, principally flower petals, which are arranged on a clay foundation set in wooden frames.
Derbyshire is particularly famous for the custom which is thought to have its origins in Pagan times when Celts were thought to have been giving thanks for their fresh water. As Christianity swept the country the pagan practices were discouraged but dressing the well somehow survived and reputedly the 17th Century experienced a resurgence in thanks for the avoidance of plague. Today the tradition is a much-loved feature of village Summer calendars, a traditional craft enjoyed by community and visitor alike.
Here are some of the more notable village well-dressings for your diary alongside Sheffield DA Meets that are convenient to visit these intricate dedications. Sheffield DA event details can be found at www.sheffieldda.co.uk