Well Dressing Milford and Makeney

 

Well-dressing has been part of this county’s heritage since the great plague.  Well dressings began in Tissington. 

The village was saved from the ravages of the plague because of the fresh, clean water that came from the wells. 
The dressing of wells is a way of thanking God for good water.
 
Look at Eyam. Although the village suffered greatly from the plague, the people of the village stopped the spread of the disease by isolating themselves from the outside world. 

They used the clean well waters to put money in for the food that was left for them beside the Mompesson well outside the village.  The running water cleansed the coins, so again clean water helped to save people. 

To thank God, the wells are dressed in the Lord’s honour.  Nowadays not all wells carry a Christian message, but many still do, and we must hope that this wonderful way of saying thank you to God for our water continues.

Roger Culverhouse


Milford and Makeney Wells

2004-2017 

 

2017

2017

2016

2015

2014

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

The early Christians didn't like
well- dressing.
They saw it as a type of
water worship.
So they banned it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                 2013

2013

2013

2012

2012

2011

2011

 

 

Banning was too much to ask of the people and in 1349 Tissington led its revival.
As piped water spread, villagers just wanted to celebrate this by decorating the taps with pictures based on Bible stories.

It no longer follows a specifically christian subject and as you see from the selection on this page a range of secular themes have been beautifully created.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

 

                                                                                                      2010

2010

2010

2009

2009

 

 

 

The pictures are made from living plants.
Traditionally the boards were soaked for several days in a river or pond. This is then covered in soft, wet clay on which the artist sketches the design.

The design is then coloured in.
The materials used will depend on what is avaialble when they are made.
 Blossom and flowers are used in the spring but you are more likely to see berries and seeds for those created later in the year.

                                                                                                                        

                                           2008 

2008

2008

 

2007

 

2007

2006

 

2006

2005

2005

 

 

 

 

Wells are not made quickly.
They can take up to 7 days to complete by a team of people.

They don't then go in fridge to make them last longer. Fortunately they're put on display for everyone to enjoy.
Depending on how warm the weather is they could go for about a week before things start to dry out.

 

 

 

                                                                             2004

2004

 

 

2004

For pictures of wells from other Derbyshire villages go to welldressing.com
All pictures by Glynn Williams