Well dressing is one of the best known and most popular and colourful customs in Derbyhire and he Peak District. Well dressing dates back hundreds of years, and though there have been religious associations, the true origins remain unknown.
Well dressing is celebrated in more than sixty towns and villages throughout Derbyshire and the Peak District.
Each village taking part in this custom has its own jealously guarded version and designs worked out months beforehand are not revealed until the last possible moment.
Todays wells are decorated with flower petals, berries, moss, cones and seeds, which are pressed into clay held in a wooden framework. It is a difficult task combining hard work and artistic dexterity. The clay is cleansed of all impurities, and the frames are then soaked to prevent the clay from drying out. The frames often have rows of protruding nails which help to prevent the damp clay from falling away when the frames are standing.