Well Dressings near Chesterfield. Are you looking for the best well dressings near chesterfield in derbyshire and the peak district here is our list
Nowhere in the world can you marvel at the age old and unique tradition of well dressing. We've listed the well dressings near Chesterfield below ↓
Well dressers in around 80 towns and villages create 100’s of living art displays which usually decorate the community's wells, springs or gardens (if the wells have disappeared) from may right up to September.
The well dressings depict anything from biblical scenes, to special celebrations like the royal wedding (below) and unique messages like the countryside and rights of way act.
Most places organise week long or weekend celebrations like carnival or village fates. We need to support these events so the traditions carry on for future generations. I used to organise the Cutthorpe carnival with the sole intention to promote the well dressings and raise money for local charity.
The best way I thought of promoting the art to a new generation was to ask the local primary school to design their own and get the kids involved which they did.
No one really knows where this art came from, many believe that it originates from the Romans or Celts who used to make “Flower Art” offerings to say thank you for the plentiful fresh water springs in the Peak District. I was told once that they used to sacrifice virgins by chopping off their heads and these days they use the heads of flowers. “Yes this was after a couple of beers.” - local beers of course.
The tradition was revived in Tissington in the 14th century, where six wells are still dressed in May or June each year attracting 35,000 people to visit the area.
The well dressers build their pieces of art in stages and it’s fascinating to watch. A week before men in blue overalls gather waiting for one of their friends to deliver old dried bags of clay and a bath tub? The old clay is emptied in the bath tub and water is added to re-hydrate the dried clay. This is all the men seem to do and talking about re-hydration they all make for the nearest pub do discuss how much clay they have under their finger nails – again another fascinating thing to watch (and take part in if you can).
The re-hydrated clay is kneaded onto boards of wood, a design is drawn onto the clay and then the dressing begins. Some use flower petals and some use flower buds (Not an argument I want to become embroiled in?). The picture is filled with all different colours and the end result is stunning. Again this is when the men in blue overalls appear again to admire there clay work (Pint in hand at this stage – love it). The finished wells are blessed usually at the beginning (to indicate the start) of the village fates.
So where are the best well dressings near chesterfield in Derbyshire?
Do you organise a well dressing or an event in your village and want to advertise it on our huge high ranking near-chesterfield-derbyshire.com web site contact Adrian and pass on your details.