Taddington welcomes return of well dressing ceremony

By Anna Harris
Journalist, BBC East Midlands

  • Published
Image source, Dave Graham
Image caption,
Organisers said it was the first time it had been possible to hold the festival since Covid

A Derbyshire village is preparing to welcome the return of its annual well dressing ceremony, after a two-year break due to coronavirus.

The tradition of decorating Taddington's wells began after the Black Death.

Dave Graham, one of the people behind the festival, said it was the first time it had been possible to hold the festival since the pandemic.

"It's really nice to get back to it now," he said.

"In 2020 it was impossible; in 2021 it became obvious it wasn't going to work."

'A blast'

The tradition of well dressing - which is also carried out in other villages such as Tissington - is believed to date back to the 14th Century, with residents hoping a pure water supply would keep infection at bay.

Taddington celebrates the tradition of decorating its wells with a week of events, including a flower festival and village fete.

The festival - which runs from 20-26 August - will see Taddington and nearby Blackwell display dressings that have been designed and assembled by members of the local community.

The dressings use natural materials to create pictures on frames of wet clay and wood.

This year's dressing, which will be displayed in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels, is on the theme of journeys.

"It's all rather gorgeous," Mr Graham added.

"At its foundation, it's about the blessing of the well."

However, he added it was also about "everyone coming together, getting involved, socialising, and having a blast locally".

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