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Summer Well Dressings in Derbyshire

This year John and I visited several local villages at the end of August and beginning of September and saw some amazing creativity in the Well Dressings. They run from May/June up to mid September each year at different locations. Some celebrate with a carnival procession such as Tideswell at the end of June and there are often activities during the week of display for families and visitors in many of the smaller villages.

People of all ages come together to work on the projects.

Designed and built by local people each year using flowers, seeds, petals, wood, coal, feathers to create the pictures on a wooden frame and clay soaked in water. The finished Well Dressing dries out and only lasts a week or two as they are made freshly each year. You can walk along the lanes in Derbyshire Peak District villages exploring the different themes in each community,

We met some older residents who designed and built the original frames in the 1930s that are still being used today. If you are creative and look into the barns where they are being built you will be welcome to join in .

The main Well Dressing at Stoney Middleton built in a marquee in the car park of The Moon Inn, where Joy Mason the landlady overlooks the design and build each year,

Well Dressing at Stoney Middleton in the Peak District 2016

Detail below showing a couple of birds and floral display in the main Well Dressing above.

Detail of flowers and birds in Well Dressing at Stoney Middleton

Woodpecker Well Dressing reflected in the stream by The Old Bath House at The Nook in Stoney Middleton.

Woodpecker Well Dressing by The Old Roman Bathhouse in Stoney Middleton Peak District 2016

Many villages have a Well Dressing celebrating famous local people and historic events for example Capability Brown who designed Chatsworth Gardens.

Capability Brown celebrated in a Well Dressing in Foolow in The Peak District

James Brindley who designed canal systems in England this Well Dressing seen at Wormhill close to Tideswell.

James Brindley, famous canal designer celebrated on a Well Dressing

Children in most villages complete a Well Dressing too with parents and teachers so continuing a long family and village community tradition.

See some beautiful examples below

Beatrix Potter seen in Wormhill churchyard.

Children's Well Dressing at Wormhill Beatrix Potter

Pickles the famous dog football skills and celebrations.

Pickles the dog at World Cup football Well Dressing in Foolow The Peak District

Noah's Ark by children in Stoney Middleton in The Peak District.

Noah's Ark Well Dressing by children in Stoney Middleton 2016

These Well dressings are an amazing feature of some of Derbyshire old traditions and look even better when you stand next to them and understand how much work has gone into each one.

If you have enjoyed some of our photos perhaps you may like to come and stay at The Cornerhouse in Tideswell and see the wonderful Well Dressings for yourselves next summer 2017?

Please contact Nikki on 07876763730 to ask about available dates.

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