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Well dressings & open gardens

The custom of dressing wells with petals in clay originated here in the Derbyshire Dales.

  • A list of Derbyshire well dressings can be found here.
 Derbyshire Dales well dressing  2016 date
Tissington 5-11 May
Ashford in the Water 21-29 May
Monyash 28 May - 6 June
Wirksworth 28 May - 1 June
Middleton by Youlgrave 28 May - 4 June
Cressbrook 12-19 June
Marston Montgomery 12-18 June
Norbury 17-23 June
Flash 18-28 June
Litton 18-26 June
Youlgrave 25-30 June
Bakewell 26 June - 3 July
Hathersage 2-10 July
Over Haddon 9-17 July
Pilsley 16-30 July
Great Longstone 16-23 July
Little Longstone 16-23 July
Stoney Middleton 23 July - 1 Aug
Bonsall 30 July - 5 Aug
Bradwell 30 July -6 Aug
Great Hucklow 11-17 Aug
Taddington 20-26 Aug
Eyam 27 Aug - 3 Sep
Foolow 27 Aug - 3 Sep
Hartington 10-17 Sep

We advise checking the dates before travelling.

Origins

According to the welldressing.com website, the true origins of well dressing are lost in the mists of time.

Many sources suggest it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water.  Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for water.

Tradition has it that it took on a special significance in 17th century Derbyshire as various villages, notably Tissington, gave thanks for their deliverance from the Plague which had decimated another Dales village, Eyam.

 

Tourism

Town Hall, Bank Road
Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN
01629 761 145/103
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