Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
Welcome to Hoe Grange Holidays, where we celebrate the rich heritage and quirky ancient traditions of the stunning Derbyshire Peak District.
Have you heard of the ancient art of well dressing?
Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of well dressing - an ancient art form that gives thanks for the gift of fresh, clean water. Discover the origins of Tissington Well Dressings, find out about the traditional techniques passed down through generations, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of one of our favourite local events. #lovelocal
Tissington Well Dressings have been celebrated for centuries, dating back to a time lost in the annals of history. While the exact origins remain mysterious, two theories have gained prominence among the locals.
Some believe that the tradition emerged in Tissington village shortly after the devastating Black Death of 1348. The villagers, fortunate to be spared from the plague, attributed their immunity to the purity of the water.
Another theory suggests that Tissington Well Dressings originated in 1615, following severe droughts that ravaged the region. Amidst the desolation, Tissington stood as an oasis where water flowed freely from its five wells, preserving cattle and crops. Regardless of its precise inception, one thing is certain—the ancient art of well dressing has endured for hundreds of years, with each generation passing down the traditional techniques.
Several weeks before Ascension Day, the process of well dressing begins. Wooden frames are constructed and submerged in the village pond to soak. The makers then 'puddle' or work fresh clay so it is soft enough to pack into the frame, smoothing it out until it looks freshly plastered.
Sketched designs are then traced onto the clay, creating an outline that is further embellished with natural materials. Vibrant flower petals, mosses, wool, twigs, beans, seeds, and stones bring the designs to life, adding texture and depth.
Although the tradition originated as a pagan ritual, it was later adopted by the Church. Many of the well dressings now incorporate biblical themes, while others pay tribute to national events and more modern themes. This year, a couple of the wells at Tissington Hall celebrate Walt Disney, demonstrating the evolving nature of this cherished tradition.
Well dressing serves not only as a thanksgiving but also as a unifying force, bringing the entire village community together. There is a friendly rivalry as to who creates the best decorated well!
Tissington villagers are passionate about the well dressings and everyone pitches in to help. Each resident contributes in their own way, whether by digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards, or putting up the well dressings throughout the village. Participants of all ages, including children who create smaller designs to raise money, become part of this annual event.
The celebrations commence on Ascension Day with a Church service at St. Mary’s Church, followed by a procession that blesses each well in the village. The Well Dressings remain on display for a week, and are a stunning spectacle for all to see. Follow Tissington Well Dressings on Instagram for more insights into the ancient art of well dressing.
Even the cows want to get in on the act!
While immersing yourself in the wonders of Tissington Well Dressings, take the opportunity to explore the charming Tissington Village with it's beautiful stone cottages and local businesses. Visit Tissington Nursery, located in the estate's walled kitchen gardens, and bring home a beautiful plant for your garden. Discover unique Dovedale ceramics and exquisite hurricane candles at On A Wick and A Prayer candle workshop.
Visit water colour artist Roger Allen's pop up art gallery. Roger lives at Hoe Grange so quite a few of his paintings are of our farm! Get creative at Tissington Craft Corner, or indulge in a delicious cream tea at Herbert's Tea Rooms.
If you're not local to Derbyshire you probably haven't heard of well dressings, but quirky events such as well dressing is what makes the Peak District a #uniquedistrict!
Tissington Well Dressings are on from today Thursday 18th May to Wednesday 24th May, and are 'well' worth a visit!
What's your favourite well design? This year I loved the Walt Disney theme at Yew Tree Well.
Join us for this unique celebration and explore the local attractions in Tissington Village. Book your stay at Hoe Grange Holidays today!
PS if you miss the well dressings at Tissington there are well dressings at other Peak District towns and villages throughout the summer, including, Wirksworth, Middleton-by-Youlgrave, Ashford in the Water, Bakewell, Buxton, Stoney Middleton and Monyash.
We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more
We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more
For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more