Derbyshire and Peak District Curiosities
Tissington Well Dressing and Sundial at Eyam Church
|Tissington Well Dressing|
This ancient Derbyshire custom possibly has its earliest origins in Celtic earth-worship when votive offerings were made to water spirits. The Romans too, looked on certain water sources as shrines, decorating them with greenery and flowers. Nowadays the newly-dressed wells recieve a Christian blessing as the basis of this unique floral tradition which brightens up many villages in turn between early and late summer. In Tissington, it was revived in 1349 after the village escaped a terrible otbreak of the Black Death, that wiped out almost half the population of Britain.
| Sundial at Eyam Church|
Believed to have been made by William Shaw of Eyam in 1775, the sundial is the most elaborate of all the sundials in Derbyshire. It shows the time in half-hours, the months and signs of the zodiac, longitude degrees and local times of several cities around the world. The translations of the mottoes are,'Take to thyself a wise mind' and on the corbels 'Like a shadow, so passes life'. It is situated over the priest's door at Eyam's Church
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