Well dressings

The custom of dressing wells with petals in clay originated here in the Derbyshire Dales.

  • A list of Derbyshire well dressings can be found here.
 Derbyshire Dales well dressing  2022 date
Tissington  26 May - 1 June
Wirksworth  28 May - 5 June
Middleton by Youlgrave  28 May - 4 June
Monyash  3 - 10 June
Ashford in the Water  11 - 19 June
Tideswell  19 - 26 June 
Bakewell 25 June - 2 July
Youlgrave 25 - 30 June
Over Haddon  18 - 25 June
Matlock  3 - 9 July
Rowsley  25 June - 2 July
Stoney Middleton  23 - 31 July 
Bradwell  30 July - 6 Aug
Taddington  20 - 26 Aug
Wormhill 27 Aug - 4 Sep
Hartington 10 - 17 Sep

We advise checking the dates before travelling.

Origins

According to the welldressing.com website, the true origins of well dressing are lost in the mists of time.

Many sources suggest it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water.  Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for water.

Tradition has it that it took on a special significance in 17th century Derbyshire as various villages, notably Tissington, gave thanks for their deliverance from the Plague which had decimated another Dales village, Eyam.