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About Holywell Well Dressing
Venue Type: Well Dressing
A Well dressing on the Holy Well, near the south entrance to St. John the Baptist's churchyard.
The annual well-dressing at the parish church of Holywell-cum-Needingworth takes place on the nearest weekend before 24th June, the day in the Christian calendar that celebrates the birth of St John the Baptist, our church’s patron saint.
On the Friday of the festival we hold a Service of Well-blessing, usually at 6.30 pm, beginning in the church and ending at the Holy Well in the churchyard, at which the well-dressing is unveiled. This is followed by refreshments and music, outdoors in good weather.
Over the weekend visitors can view the well-dressing and the Flower Festival in the church – flower arrangements are contributed by all the clubs, societies and organisations in the village. Teas and home-made cake are on offer on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and there is a recital of light music on the church organ on the Sunday afternoon.
The blessing of the water supply, in the form of a well is an ancient ceremony dating back to the Celts or even earlier.
It is only found in or near Derbyshire.
Well Dressing is the art of decorating springs or wells with pictures made of natural products.
Clay is pressed into boards, then the picture is traced onto the clay using a pointer. Then comes the delicate task of infilling with flower petals and other natural materials.
Each petal has to be put in separately and they overlap like tiles on a roof so that rain will flow off the picture. This process takes many hours and usually occupies most of the week prior to the well being dressed.Last happened on Fri 24th of June 2022 - Sun 26th of June 2022
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