Horns of Ock Street

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The Horns of Ock Street are the insignia of the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers from the English county of Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire).

They date from 1700. The road from Abingdon town centre to the North is called the Vineyard (because it passed through Abingdon Abbey's vineyard), that leading to the South, running parallel to the River Ock is called Ock Street. Following a celebration, in 1700, when an ox was roasted on the marketplace in the town centre, the "Vineyard men" fought with the "Ock Street men" for possession of the ox's horns. The Ock Street men won.[1]

Since then, the original Ock Street Horns, mounted in a carved wooden ox's head emblazoned with the date 1700 have served as the insignia of Abingdon's morris dancing side, and also of the independent spirit and character of the inhabitants of Ock Street. By tradition the morris side (Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers) will not dance without the horns.

A public house called The Ock Street Horns traded for many years in Ock Street boasting a large pair of replica horns above its front door. On its closure in 1960 these were moved to another Ock Street public house,[2] The White Horse, where they are now on display.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Argyle, Leslie, Cameos of Abingdon, Page 50, Abingdon Town Council, 2006
  2. ^ Jacqueline Smith and John Carter,Inns and Alehouses of Abingdon 1550-1978,Page 70, 1989

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