View the full list of Derbyshire Dales well dressings and open gardens in our 2015 Floral Dales brochure [PDF 3.66MB].
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.