Category Archives: Tissington

Annie our local shinning light – not a candle in the wind!

We are proud to stock some fabulous #LoveLocal Peak District products, in our new little shop. Today we are featuring On A Wick and A Prayer, candle makers at Tissington village just over the hill from Hoe Grange.

Annie's candles

A spark of an idea

Our friend Annie Maudling had a flicker of an idea following a fishing trip to Ireland where she purchased some hand made candles from a small local business. This sparked a passion and found Annie experimenting with her daughter’s candle making kit in her kitchen (which is where all good small businesses start from, including ours!).

By adding natural scents and hand crafting unusual shaped candles Annie created a unique brand which proved to be popular at local craft fairs. She is completely self-taught, and over the last 18 years has continued to build up the business on a strong foundation of quality and buying British.

Lanterns light the way

hurricane candleThe business went from strength to strength with the unique hurricane lantern the star of the show (and my all time favourite too!). The hurricane lanterns are made from translucent wax with inlaid flowers & designs so that the tealight inside shines through the intricate patterns.

The business soon outgrew the kitchen and moved to the old pig sty in the garden. A sign was placed at the garden gate inviting people to have a look round and On a Wick & A Prayer was born.

Tissington village is a Peak District gem renowned for it’s ancient tradition of well dressings and quaint cottages. Today it is a hive of activity. It’s difficult to believe but going back 18 years there was little for the visiting public to do. There were no shops or tea rooms so Annie’s new venture soon became a popular attraction.

candle making A couple of Annie’s friends offered to help out making candles to keep up with demand. They soon outgrew the pig sty and production moved into the old village forge, which was larger. It also meant there was more space to open a small shop.

If you pop over to TIssington you will still find Annie and the team hand making candles. As you approach the workshop you will be able to smell the delightful fragrances drifting through the air.

Annie is passionate about using British suppliers and products in her manufacture. With an eye to sustainability and reducing waste On A Wick have a range of refillable containers including the beautifully glazed bathtub which houses scented wax.

Annie’s candle light shines bright

As the company grew it gained a reputation for high quality and unusual designs and soon secured larger contracts with national businesses such as The National Trust. This demand required more space so they moved some of their current production to premises based in nearby Dovedale.

Inspired by the Peak District Dovedale ceramicsNever one to stand still Annie has introduced a range of ceramics designed for every day use. The glaze on the pottery is called a “Frip” glaze because it bursts in the kiln, creating a beautiful finish, each piece being unique.

The colours are inspired by the Peak District #uniquedistrict landscape, Mermaid Blue of the River Dove, Dolomitic Grey of the stone walls, green lava of the lush pastures and the latest colour is red lava.

Exciting news – Annie has just launched the new Ezicandle kit. You can now make your own candles using empty containers from candles which you have loved and burnt, but don’t want to throw away. No need for specialist equipment and it couldn’t be easier!

And so we designed Eazi Candle! You can now recycle all your loved candle containers and bring your old favourites back to life. What’s more the Eazi Candle is self-contained, needs no other equipment and the container itself is fully recyclable.

#LoveLocal

Annie is an inspiration and a real shinning light. Her hand crafted scented candles are proving popular with our holiday guests as little gifts to take home. We have a small selection in our onsite shop – there’s nothing more romantic than #hygge candlelight. Here’s how to have a hygge holiday!

Felicity

Take a tour of the Peak District

Why not take a tour of our stunning Peak District countryside?

One of the best ways to explore our special Peak District is to get out and about on the country lanes. To make life easy we have been working with Ashbourne Community Transport to put together some mini bus tours of Derbyshire, including places of interest.

Instead of driving you can have a complete break, relax back, enjoy the view, and let someone else do the hard work for you!

Derbyshire Connect Bus

Mini bus tours

The Derbyshire Connect minibus can seat up to 16 people, has a wheelchair access tail lift and is spacious. The cost is extremely reasonable and includes the driver with local knowledge of the area. One of our favourite routes is the Southern villages, and moorlands, which includes short breaks at Tissington, Ilam, Butterton, Ecton and a two hour stop over in Buxton.

Monsal Head Peak District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other themed excursions include Denstone Farm Shop and Churnet Valley Railway, Dambusters tour and Castleton, Chatsworth House, Crich Tramway Village, Peak Rail and Cromford Trust, and Thornbridge Brewery and Bakewell. There are so many exciting places to visit that you could stay at Hoe Grange for a month and still not see everything!

Prices

The bus will pick you up directly from your cabin and prices range from £57 up to £143 – extremely reasonable, even if you don’t fill all the seats!

How to book

It’s quick and simple to book too, just call the booking line 01335 300670 to discuss the various options, where you would like to go and when, or e-mail info@ashbournect.org.uk.

Chatsworth house

We hope we have inspired you to explore a little further afield – you will be surprised how varied the landscape of the Peak District is from North to South!

Felicity 

Tissington Well Dressings 2018

One of my favourite #LoveLocal Peak District events near Hoe Grange is Tissington Well Dressings. The dressing or decorating of water wells as a thanksgiving is an unusual Derbyshire tradition. The Well Dressings at Tissington are spectacular.

hall well smallThe gift of life through water is so often taken for granted, so it’s an amazing testament to the villagers that this ancient art is still thriving today.

When did Tissington Well Dressings begin?

No one really knows! The ancient art of well dressing goes so far back that it’s origins are a bit of a mystery. One plausible theory is that the tradition began in Tissington village just after the Black Death of 1348. The villagers were lucky to be spared the ravages of the plague, and their immunity was attributed to the purity of the water.ducklingsOthers believe the custom started later in 1615, after severe droughts throughout the area led to loss of cattle and crops, except at Tissington where water flowed freely from the 5 wells in the village.

What we do know is that this curious custom has been carried on for hundreds of years and the traditional techniques are passed on from one generation to the next.

Coffin well Tissington

How are the well dressings created?

Well dressing is a lengthy process, starting several weeks before Ascension Day when the backing boards are soaked in the village pond. The boards are then covered with a clay/salt mix and the design is traced onto them.

Designs are often have a biblical theme or pick up on national anniversaries. This year designs include 100 years of Votes for Women and the formation of the RAF. You can find last years well dressing designs on another blog.

Hands Well Tissington

Well Dressing Peter RabbitThen comes the intricate process of creating the outlines with cones from the Alder trees and coffee beans, before pressing individual flower petals to complete the picture.

The delicate petals have to be carefully layered like roof tiles so that any rain flows off.

Yew Tree Well TissingtonOther natural materials are used to add texture and contrast, such as twigs, wool, feathers, and small stones. Usually everything is natural, but this years design of Yew Tree Well makes reference to the world wide concern about plastic waste.

Dressing the wells can’t be done too far ahead as the flowers need to stay fresh for the full week. Town Well TissingtonIt’s wonderful how the whole village comes together to keep this special tradition very much alive. Everyone takes part in this annual celebration; young and old working together, digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards, or erecting the dressings at the various wells throughout the village.

Childrens Well

Blessing the wells

The Tissington Well Dressings celebrations begin on Ascension Day (celebrated on the 40th day of Easter, which is always a Thursday) with a procession blessing each well and a Church service at St.Mary`s.

Things to do

There is plenty of activity in the village throughout the week, you can pop into Edward and Vintage Sweet Shop for some flavoursome fudge, pick up a plant from Tissington Nursery, which is housed in the estate’s walled kitchen gardens, treat yourself to a beautiful hurricane candle, or some unique Dovedale ceramics from On A Wick and A Prayer candle workshop, stop off for an ice cream at Herbert’s Tea Rooms, or a delicious cream tea with scones to die for at Bassettwood Farm. 

If you’re not from around Derbyshire you have probably never heard of well dressings, but quirky events such as well dressing is what makes the Peak District a #uniquedistrict. The well dressings are on from today Thursday 10th May to Wednesday 16th May, so why not pop along this weekend to see for yourself?

We hope you like our photos, however seeing the wells in real life is so much better, but don’t get stuck in the stocks like I did!

Felicity 

stocks

Tissington Well Dressings 2017

For Tissington Ascension Tide is an extremely hectic period when the whole village work tirelessly together to create the stunning, and colourful well dressings.

Hands Well TissingtonThe dressing or decorating of water wells as a thanksgiving is an ancient art that goes way back into the mists of time, so far back that no one is entirely sure of the origin.

One plausible theory is that the custom began in Tissington village just after the Black Death of 1348. The villagers were spared the ravages of the plague, and their immunity was attributed to the purity of the water.

Moor hen and chickAnother theory believes the tradition started later in 1615, after severe droughts throughout the area led to loss of cattle and crops, except at Tissington where water flowed freely from the 5 wells in the village. No one knows for sure but this ancient art is carried on with the traditional methods passed on from one generation to the next.

How are the well dressings created?

Each of the wells is decorated with a surrounding picture made from a board covered with a clay/salt mix. Several weeks prior to the well dressings you may see the boards floating in the village pond to soak them through. The boards are then plastered and the design is traced onto them.

Yew Tree Well Tissington

Cones and coffee beans are used as outlines and the filling in of the picture is done with brightly coloured flower petals, twigs, wool, feathers, stones and natural materials. This is done during the previous three days to Ascension Day.

Community spirit

Well dressing in Tissington is not just a thanksgiving but a fabulous event which brings the whole village community together. Everyone, young and old, contributes in some way to this annual celebration, digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards or erecting the dressings at the wells throughout the village.

Hall Well Tissington

The celebrations start on Ascension Day (celebrated on the 40th day of Easter which is always a Thursday) with a procession blessing each well and a Church service at St.Mary`s. The Well Dressings are displayed for a week and they are definitely not to be missed.

Coffin well TissingtonWho do you think modelled for this well dressing??

If you’re visiting the Derbyshire Peak District this week come and wander round the village and see the beautiful well dressings for yourself. A quirky but fascinating tradition that is “well” worth a visit!

Felicity Tissington Church

Six reasons to cycle in the Peak District

Why not enjoy cycling in The Peak District? Here are our top six reasons to get your cycle out and get active.

Stunning views

Monsal Head Peak District Wherever you cycle in the Peak District you have to be prepared for hills!
Whether it’s the undulating hills of the White Peak or the more severe steep inclines of the ragged Dark Peak the ride is always a challenge. However the reward when you reach the top and take in the stunning views is worth the effort.

Off-road action

cycling in Peak District National Park, DerbyshireThere are plenty of off-road action packed cycle routes for keen mountain cyclists who thrive on adrenaline. Speeding down muddy tracks can be tricky but there is help at hand from mountain bike guides if you feel your confidence needs a boost, or you want to improve your skills.

Pubs and picnics

cycling along High Peak trailDon’t despair if you haven’t been on a bike for years, or can’t face the uphill struggle! There are plenty of options for more leisurely routes along the safe traffic free trails so you can take in the stunning scenery.
It’s much more social and the gradual gradients are Ideal for taking the children along too – more fun than a spin class at the gym and with the added bonus that you can take a picnic for some family fun. Alternatively you can stop off at Edward and Vintage sweet shop in Tissington for some delicious fudge, linger at Bassettwood Farm for a cream tea or refresh yourself with a pint at The Old Dog.
You can read more about cycling in the Peak District in this article by journalist Klaus Herzmann – that is if you are fluent in German!

Access for All

The old railway lines throughout Derbyshire are very popular trails for walkers and cyclists.The gradual gradients necessary for the old steam engines make the trails perfect cycling for families with young children and people with access difficulties.
rocky roadIf you haven’t got your own bike there are cycle hire centres at Parsley Hay, Middleton Top and Carsington Water, which also hire a range of adapted bikes.
Or for the ultimate experience you can hire our Hoe Grange Boma 7 off-road wheelchair. The High Peak Trail (route 54) runs along side Hoe Grange farm so you can access the trail directly by trekking across the fields. There are some good circular cycling routes from Middleton Top.

Eroica Britannia

L'Eroica cyclistsDon’t miss Eroica Britannia – a spectacular 3 day race and family festival in Bakewell from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June. The highlight of the event is the cycle race where 3,000 cyclists take to the Derbyshire hills on various routes riding pre-1987 bikes and wearing vintage clothing – an amazing spectacle to behold.
Join in the fun – there is so much to see and do, from a good old fashioned vintage fairground, live music, to acres of vintage sales, amazing shops and the GRAZE specialist Food Festival. You can relax on the beach or join in the vintage style family Sports Day on The Sporting Lawns. Why not get dressed up in your vintage best for Best in Show and impress the judges, including Patrick Grant, British fashion designer and judge from The Great British Sewing Bee?

Derby Velodrome

For those of a more competitive nature Hoe Grange is just 30 minutes travel from the Derby Arena, where there are plenty of opportunities to train and race on the superb velodrome. The Derby velodrome is also used for British cycling’s Rider Route.
This amazing high tech cycle race track is built from 26 miles worth of wood sourced from the Russian spruce forests of Siberia. If all the planks were laid end to end, there would be enough to stretch from Derby to Leicester!

Throughout the six weeks it took to install, over 265,000 nails were hand-driven into the 250m track and aside from the coloured racing lines, there is no other finish on the track.

Cycling on the trailSo make the most of your stay in our self-catering log cabins at Hoe Grange – pack a picnic, grab the map, get into gear on your bike and tackle those Derbyshire hills. You may pant and puff up the hills, but just think of the freedom of freewheeling back down!
Felicity

Tissington Well Dressings 2016

One of my favourite events of the year is Tissington Well Dressings. The amazingly detailed designs are created by pressing brightly coloured petals, leaves, twigs, and natural materials into wet clay mounted on wooden boards. There are six water wells  around the village each with their own spectacular display, often with biblical themes.

Tissington Hall Well
Tissington Hall Well – Let there be light

The origins of this ancient custom are lost in the mists of time, but what is certain is that it is a thanksgiving for a supply of clean water and that it is most prevalent here in the Peak District.

Yew Tree Well
Yew Tree Well dressing celebrating Dovedale and our special Peak District countryside

One theory says that the customs began just after the Black Death of 1348-9. The local population was ravaged by The Plague, but all in Tissington escaped and the immunity was put down to the purity of the water supply. The Well Dressings have become an annual thanksgiving and at Tissington they are put up on the eve of Accession Day ready for the blessing ceremony.

Coffin Well featuring Shrovetide Football
Coffin Well dressing featuring another quirky local tradition, Shrovetide Football

Today it’s not just a thanksgiving but a marvelous way of bringing the whole village community together as everyone contributes in some way to this annual event, digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards or erecting the dressings at the wells throughout the village.

Children's Well dressing
Children’s Well
Town Well dressing
Town Well

If you missed Tissington there are many more dates for Derbyshire Well Dressings throughout the summer.

Felicity

 

Hands Well dressing featuring Beatrix Potter animals
Hands Well dressing featuring Beatrix Potter animals

Tissington Well Dressings 2015

Can you believe another year has flown by?

Once again we are giving thanks for the pure, clear water, the essence of life, at Tissington Well Dressings.

Hall Well at Tissington 2015
Hall Well created by Sir Richard Fitz Herbert and family

The dressing or decorating of water wells as a thanksgiving is an ancient art peculiar to the Peak District, which goes so far back in time that no one can be exactly sure of the origins. One of the most spectacular well dressings in Derbyshire is in the village of Tissington, just 3 miles down the road from Hoe Grange.

Each well iDerbyshire well dressingss decorated with an intricate and colourful display of flowers and natural materials. Wooden frames are constructed and soaked in the village pond, then covered with clay, mixed with water and salt. A design is sketched on paper, and then traced onto the clay.
The picture is then filled in with natural materials, predominantly colourful flower petals and mosses, but also wool, twigs, beans, seeds, stones and small cones. This is done during the previous three days to Ascension Day.

Although originally a pagan tradition it later was adopted by the Church and many of the wells are decorated with a biblical theme.

Hands Well at Tissington 2015
Hands Well

It’s not just a thanksgiving but a marvellous way of bringing the whole village community together as everyone contributes in some way to this annual event, digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards or erecting the dressings at the wells throughout the village.

The celebrations start on Ascension Day (celebrated on the 40th day of Easter which is always a Thursday) with a procession blessing each well and a Church service at St. Mary’s. The Well Dressings are displayed for a week and they are “well” worth a visit!

CoffinWell2015
Coffin Well

 

If you missed the well dressings at Tissington hopefully you have enjoyed our photos and here is a guide to the other well dressings in the Peak District area; including Ashford in the Water this week, Youlgrave on 20th June and Bakewell on 27th June.

Felicity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children's Well Tissington 2015
Children’s’ Well

 

Town Well Tissington
Town Well

 

Yew Tree Well Tissington 2015
Yew Tree Well

 

 

Tissington Well Dressings 2014

It’s amazing how quickly the seasons change and another year flies by, but the ancient tradition of well dressing is ever constant. The Peak District hosts many well dressings, but Tissington village produces some of the most spectacular, with a total of 6 wells.

Tissington Well Dressings
Hall Well commemorating the First World War

It is unclear as to the exact origin of well dressings – some believe they were originally pagan celebrations, others consider they only go back as far as the Black Death in the 1348. Many communities were devastated by the dreadful plague, but Tissington was spared and locals believed their escape was due to the purity of the water. Did thanksgiving begin then or perhaps later in 1615 when the country experienced a severe drought? At this time Tissington continued to have a supply of water from its five wells and a thanksgiving service was held.

What is clear is that the tradition of well dressing is an ancient art going back hundreds of years and is still going strong today. The themes are often biblical, but this year several commemorate the First World War.

The Lion and The Lamb - look carefully the lion even has whiskers!
The Lion and The Lamb – look carefully the lion even has whiskers!

Each well is decorated with a surrounding picture made from a board covered with a clay/salt mix. The boards are first soaked in the village pond after which they are plastered and then the picture is traced onto them.

Cones and coffee beans are used as outlines and the filling in of the picture is done with brightly coloured flower petals, twigs, wool and stones. This is done during the previous three days to Ascension Day.

It’s not just a thanksgiving but a marvellous way of bringing the whole village community together as everyone contributes in some way to this annual event, digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards or erecting the dressings at the wells throughout the village.

The celebrations start on Ascension Day (celebrated on the 40th day of Easter which is always a Thursday) with a procession blessing each well and a Church service at St.Mary`s. The Well Dressings are displayed for a week and they are definitely not to be missed.

It’s interesting to see the slide show of behind the scenes and how the wells are created and dressed.

Felicity

Hand's Well at Tissington Village 2014
Hand’s Well – a biblical theme of The Lion and The Lamb

Tissington Well dressings 2014
6th well introduced in 1982 decorated by local children

Town Well at Tissington well dressings
Town Well with a stunning black and white theme

Tissington Well Dressings - Yew Tree Well
Yew Tree Well celebrating the community

Coffin Well at Tissington
Coffin Well commemorating World War 1

the art of well dressing
Dove of peace in a hydrangea sky

Sidecar Safari Adventure

Sidecar Safari in the Peak District
And they’re off on a Sidecar Safari

Last week our guests took advantage of one of Derbyshire’s most unique and rather special adventures. Jeff and Jo took to the road with Bill Purvis on a Sidecar Safari.

What better way to access our spectacular Peak District landscape than from a classic Russian motorbike – whether you sit safely in the sidecar or more daringly ride pillion you’re guaranteed spectacular 360° views of the countryside.

David was a little disappointed that the impressive military sidecar didn’t have a machine gun!

A real Wallace and Gromit thrilling experience, a rollercoaster ride with no safety belts, no airbags, no windows, just the rush of the wind as you pass through the stunning landscape, making you feel alive.

Don’t be daunted, as Jeff and Jo found out, Bill takes good care of you and there are plenty of stops along the way for a hot chocolate or a tasty treat. Like us at Hoe Grange Bill is passionate about the Peak District and will incorporate lots of local Derbyshire delicacies , and uncover hidden gems while driving along the back lanes. It couldn’t be easier to arrange your very own Sidecar Safari and Bill will pick you up right outside your cabin.

Tissington Ford
A quick splash through Tissington ford

Tissington Village
Tissington village with it’s Norman Church

Jeff and Jo certainly made the most of their stay with us:

“We stayed in Daisybank, we loved it, highest spec we have ever had (biggest wet room ever!), we loved the views of spectacular countryside all around, we loved the sheltered patio even with part of it covered from the rain and something we fully indulged in; the extra activities that are there for you if you wish.

A day’s hire of the Boma – powerchair crossed with a mountain bike that took me up the mountain behind the cabin and comfortably over every bump and pot hole I could find for 7 miles on the High Peak Trail. We also purchased the fire pit experience. Sitting out til 10 pm in March watching logs burn, drinking mulled wine and toasting marshmallows with melted chocolate are the unique experiences that made our holiday at Hoe Grange so much more special than at other UK locations. Beyond experiences provided by Hoe Grange, all credit to Felicity and David for including details on their website of a whole range of opportunities you might want to have a go at during your holiday. It was on this basis that we discovered what had to be the highlight of our holiday, a 3-hour trip round the local villages with Bill on a motorbike with a sidecar”.

Happy memories!

Felicity

Tissington Well Dressings

Decorated well at Tissington hall

The dressing or decorating of water wells as a thanksgiving is an ancient art peculiar to the Peak District, which goes so far back in time that no one can be exactly sure of the origins. One of the most spectacular well dressings in Derbyshire is in the village of Tissington, just 3 miles down the road from Hoe Grange.

One theory is that the custom began in Tissington village just after the Black Death of 1348. The villagers were spared the ravages of the plague, and their immunity was attributed to the purity of the water.

Others believe the custom started later in 1615, after severe droughts throughout the area lead to loss of cattle and crops, except at Tissington where water flowed freely from the 5 wells in the village.

So water shortages are not such a modern phenomenon after all, and we should all celebrate the gift of life through water, which we so often take for granted!

The wells are decorated by pressing brightly coloured flower petals and natural materials into a bed of wet clay, mixed with salt, on a backing board. These boards are erected around the wells in the village to give spectacular displays, usually based on a biblical theme.

Pressing pettles into the clay to create a picture

If you missed Tissington, Youlgrave have a well dressings week starting June 22nd and we just happen to have a cancellation here at Hoe Grange Holidays for a few days from June 24th – come and stay with us and see this ancient tradition for yourself.

Felicity

Peter Rabbit is the theme of this well