Portal:Derbyshire/Article Archive/October 2011

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Well Dressing Wirksworth 1860s.jpg

Well dressing is a custom practised in rural England in which wells, springs or other water sources are decorated with designs created from flower petals. The custom is most closely associated with the Peak District of Derbyshire in the English Midlands. (see illustration from the 1860s)

The origins of the tradition are said to be in pagan tradition[1] or in giving thanks for the purity of the water drawn from wells during the Black Death. It is said to have originated in Tissington, Derbyshire in 1349, though other claims can be made for Eyam and Stoney Middleton. Whatever its origins it was historically a custom of the Peak District of Derbyshire.
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