Eyam Well Dressings 2015
The Blessing of Wells is a unique Peak District tradition which has its roots back in Pagan times. It is thought by some that it dates back as far as the period after the Black Death in 1348-9, when probably around third of England’s population died. Miraculously, some Peak villages were left untouched, such as Tissington. Local people attributed this to their clean water supply and thus gave thanks by then ‘dressing’ the village wells.
Today in the Peak District villages, a number of well dressings still take place. Eyam is the last of the larger festivals, taking place at the end of August. In Eyam the well dressing ceremony coincides with the beginning of Wakes Week with the Carnival at the end. It is always a popular time to visit the village and the dressings catch the eye when entering Eyam bringing more visitors than usual to the village, to view the local handiwork (adapted from firstname.lastname@example.org where further information can be sought).
In 2015, carefully constructed screens which form the well dressings around the 3 wells, were erected early on Saturday 29th August 2015.The beautiful screens were the result of a huge amount of effort, happily given by the villagers of Eyam and the results were incredible. One of our waitresses, Maisy Heathcote, helped to design and organise the well dressings
The process involved puddling the clay and petalling. Afternoon and evening sessions took place to which all were invited to take part. A living Art.
Tideswell Band escorted the procession of villagers and visitors alike through the village leaving Saint Lawrence’s Church for the Blessing and the Opening of the Wells. Two of the wells are situated behind Eyam Tearooms and the owners Francis and Fiona were invited to give a reading which was Psalm 121, which Fiona proudly did – Francis was busy cooking for the crowds at the time!