Well dressings & open gardens

The dates listed may be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and subject to change/cancellation

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.
  • A list of open gardens in the Derbyshire Dales can be found here.
 Derbyshire Dales well dressing  2020 date
Tissington CANCELLED 21 - 27 May
Wirksworth CANCELLED 23 - 30 May
Middleton by Youlgrave CANCELLED 23 - 30 May 
Monyash CANCELLED 23 - 31 May 
Ashford in the Water CANCELLED 6 - 13 June
Norbury Primary School CANCELLED 12 - 19 June
Wyaston & Edlaston  13 - 19 June
Litton CANCELLED 20 - 27 June 
Tideswell CANCELLED 20 - 28 June 
Youlgrave 20 - 25 June
Over Haddon POSTPONED 27 June - 4 July
Bakewell  CANCELLED 27 June - 6 July
Matlock (Princess Diana Memorial Gardens) 4 - 11 July
Pilsley CANCELLED 9 - 16 July
Little Longstone 11 - 18 July
Rowsley CANCELLED  
Matlock Hurst Farm  
Hathersage  
Great Longstone 11 - 18 July
Stoney Middleton CANCELLED 25 July - 2 August
Bonsall  
Bradwell CANCELLED 1 - 9 Aug
Great Hucklow  
Taddington CANCELLED 22 - 28 Aug
Foolow 29 Aug - 7 Sep
Eyam  
Wormhill 29 Aug - 5 Sep
Hartington 12 - 19 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.