The construction of the Peak District well dressings is an ancient and beautiful folk-art
The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. There are many interesting features, such as wild flowers, well dressing, lead mining etc
Well Dressing Art
The construction of the well dressings which adorn the Derbyshire countryside in the summer is a beautiful and delicate folk-art which has survived in this region over many centuries. Frequently almost the whole population of the village is involved, and it usually takes about ten days to perform.
Some plants are especially prized - blue hydrangea petals are used universally for blue sky, for instance - and occasionally flowers will be specially purchased for special colours or effects. Sometimes other materials are used too - sage, straw, alder combs, even lentils and macaroni!
There is no set text for a well dressing design - often they will show a biblical scene but they may commemorate some local or world event (the 40th anniversary of the Peak Park for instance), a local building (even the Midland Railway) or any other topic which has caught the designer's fancy. Some villages have distinct 'themes' - so Tideswell well dressings show a different cathedral each year, for example.
Whatever they represent, they are often creations of great beauty.
See also the article on Well Dressings and the current well dressing list.
- Click Here for a slide show