The construction of the Peak District well dressings is an ancient and beautiful folk-art
The construction of the well dressings which adorn the peak District and Derbyshire countryside in the summer is a beautiful and delicate folk-art which has survived in this region over many centuries - certainly since at least medieval times.
Well Dressing Art
|The construction of the well dressings which adorn the Derbyshire countryside in the summer is a beautiful and delicate folk-art which has survived in this region over many centuries. Frequently almost the whole population of the village is involved, and it usually takes about ten days to perform.|
Some plants are especially prized - blue hydrangea petals are used universally for blue sky, for instance - and occasionally flowers will be specially purchased for special colours or effects. Sometimes other materials are used too - sage, straw, alder combs, even lentils and macaroni!
There is no set text for a well dressing design - often they will show a biblical scene but they may commemorate some local or world event (the 40th anniversary of the Peak Park for instance), a local building (even the Midland Railway) or any other topic which has caught the designer's fancy. Some villages have distinct 'themes' - so Tideswell well dressings show a different cathedral each year, for example.
Whatever they represent, they are often creations of great beauty.
See also the article on Well Dressings and the current well dressing list.
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