Whitwell Derbyshire
Well Dressings in Whitwell
The well in the Square "click to enlarge"

Derbyshire is unique in the way in which Wells are "dressed" in some of its villages.
 
The making of bright, mosaic pictures out of flower petals, leaves and other natural products of the earth pressed into a bed of clay and the erecting of these screens near the wells is a practice peculiar to this county.
 
The origin of the custom Well Dressing is shrouded in mystery but the most likely theory is that it has developed from an old pagan custom. All over the world in centuries past, sacrifices, often animal or even human were made to the god - goddess of water as a thank-offering for needs fulfilled or as an insurance against drought or flood.The well on the Green "click to enlarge"

The Romans, bringing the custom to our country may have found the Ancient Britons already observing a similar rite. With the coming of Christianity, the old custom would become one of thanksgiving, with the Wells blessed and decorated with flowers and garlands.
 
Why in England should Derbyshire be the home of this custom? Once more the theorists suggest that in medieval times when plagues, such as the one that struck Eyam, (and Whitwell ,oops) swept through the land, the keen upland air and the pure spring water of Derbyshire moorland villages, kept them comparatively free from infection or aided recovery. An act of thanksgiving would be most appropriate.
 
There has been a welcome revival of Interest in Well Dressing over the last 30 years, particularly in Whitwell. The event takes place for one week in July.

If you would like like to know more about Well Dressing in Derbyshire, where and when they occur you will find all the details
HERE.

Well Dressing in the Square 2005 "click to enlarge" The well dressing on the Green 2005 "click to enlarge"2005 The theme this year is 'friendship' and has been inspired by an important event in the Derbyshire scout and guide calendar, Peak 2005, is Derbyshire's Int. Scout and Guide camp, held this year at Chatsworth. Peak camps are held every 5 years since 1965, a group of Whitwell Scouts and Guides have attended all these camps, some returning years later as leaders. As part of the international friendship aspects of Scouting and guiding, the Whitwell Scouts and Guides have made friends from all over the world, friendships that continue today. Whitwell families have hosted guests from County Wicklow, Ireland, Elsdorf, Germany, Girl Scouts from Korea, Girl Scouts from the USA, and this year, a mixed group of Scouts and Guides from Kenya.
   Click to view more 2005 pictures

Well Dressing in the Square 2004 "click to enlarge" The well dressing on the Green 2004 "click to enlarge"2004 The themes of the dressings this year, are the Olympic games on the Square well and on the Green, anniversaries; The Brownies have been established in the village for 40 years and 90 nationally. The Rainbows celebrate
10 years in Whitwell and the Worksop branch of the Rotary Club are celebrating their centenary.
   Click to view more 2004 pictures

Well Dressing in the Square 2003 "click to enlarge" The well dressing on the Green 2003 "click to enlarge"2003 The theme of the dressings this year is to pay tribute to three Saints. The well in the Square displays Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals. The Green display depicts two Saints. St George, the patron Saint of England, Scouts and Soilders. His day is on the 23rd of April. The second Saint is Christopher, patron Saint of travellers who's Saints day is the 25th of July.   Click to view more 2003 pictures

Well dressing in the Square 2002 "click to enlarge"The well dressing on the Green 2002 "click to enlarge"2002 The themes of the dressings this year are The Queens Golden Jubilee ,30 years of Well Dressing in Whitwell and 95 years of Scouting. The well in the Square is decorated with the Union Jack, the Queens Crown and all flags from the Commonwealth. The Green display depicts two aspects of the Scout movement, the left panel is a copy of a mural which was designed by Mrs Nan Brown from Whitwell and can be seen in the Scout and Guide HQ on Welbeck Street recreation ground. The right panel shows the Scout logo of 1907 and the redesigned 2002 version.
Click to view more 2002 pictures

The Well Dressing on the Green 2001 "click to enlarge"The Well Dressing in the Square 2001 "click to enlarge"2001 The theme of the Well Dressing is "Water" Why? - because wells have been blessed for centuries for the pure, clean water that they provide to the village community. Two wells were blessed this year, the main well in the Square depicts Noahs Ark, complete with rainbows, water and the animals, two by two. The other on the Green features water images designed by the Beavers and Brownies of the 1st Whiwell (open) Scouts and Guides. The children came up with some wonderful designs, and we hope you will agree the designs incorporated into the Dressing on the Green depict "Water" from a childs point of view.  Click to view more pictures           

Well dressing in the Square 2000 "click to enlarge"The welldressing on the green 2000 "click to enlarge"2000