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Well dressings

Well dressing preparation at Tissington

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

View a list of Derbyshire well dressings.


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.

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