Sunday, 17 May 2009

Well Dressing

It’s May, and well dressing time.

The image is made up purely of natural things, leaves and twigs, stones, beans and petals, pressed into wet clay, mounted on a wooden frame. This image has faded a bit now, but should last for the rest of the month.

The well dressing tradition originates in Derbyshire but has been spreading to wells in other parts of the country, like this one, over the years. It dates back to the time of the Great Plague, and since the plague first arrived in this country through the harbour of the nearby town, it’s rather fitting.

And of course, like many old wells, this is a wishing well. You must stand with your back to the well with you feet on either side of the stream. Scoop up and handful of water and take a sip. The throw the rest over your shoulder back into the well and make your wish.

I’m not going to tell you what I wished for but you can probably guess.


  1. Very impressive, Kate - I'd come across it Derbyshire, but hadn't realized it had spread. Where is the well you show?

  2. Hi Brian. This one's in Dorset. :-)


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