Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Well Dressing

The weather held for us this morning and despite a few threatening clouds, it stayed dry for our 8 mile round-trip walk to the village of West Hallam.  We went to look at the Well Dressings which decorate the centre of the old village at this time of year.
Well Dressings in Derbyshire have been popular for centuries and are said to have Pagan origins in making sacrifices to the Gods of wells and springs.  The Christian church has adopted this tradition (doesn't it always?) and have turned it to their favour by giving thanks to God for safe, fresh water - and as a means of tapping the onlooker for money!
Whatever the true meaning and whatever the origin, they brighten up many towns and villages all over Derbyshire each Summer.  The themes this year in West Hallam, seem to be the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.  Certainly crowns and Olympic symbols proliferate.

The other theme to feature often this year is the life of the Rev. John Scargill.  The local Rector died in 1662, aged 72, leaving money to fund the Scargill School and Scargill Trust.
Maybe more to come..!
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