The Media Archive for Central England is the public screen archive for the East and West Midlands. An independent charity and company based at the University of Lincoln, MACE acquires, catalogues, preserves and makes widely available moving image materials that inform our understanding of the diverse cultures and histories of communities between the Lincolnshire coast and the Welsh border.
This film is part of Free
Ashford in the Water Well Dressing
Attention to detail, dedication and an artist's touch are needed to create the designs made from seeds and petals that go on to adorn the wells of Derbyshire.
From the collection of:
The village of Ashford in the Water is the location for this ambitious amateur production that records a custom practised in villages across the Peak District. Although suffering somewhat in the sound department, the vivid images more than make up for it: from the boards being soaked in the River Wye to the intricate task of adding thousands of petals and seeds to form the elaborate designs which, after a few short days, will again return to the waters of the river.
Well dressing is a tradition that stretches back to outbreaks of Bubonic Plague in the fourteenth century. The practise in the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Peak District is however more associated with nineteenth and twentieth century revivals. Ashford in the Water continues to provide a well dressing display as part of a Christian festival celebrated around Trinity Sunday.