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