Well Dressing is a fascinating Derbyshire tradition which involves decorating wells and springs with beautiful petals and other natural materials.

Many claim that this hails back to ancient Pagan times where people would worship nature’s wonders as gods; but another theory suggests that it started after the plague. Tissington was one of the very few villages that escaped the deadly disease, therefore each year a thanksgiving’ to the source of pure water was given, and so the traditional of decorating wells and springs with flowers was born.

As time went on, and after a revival of the tradition, these flowery offerings became more sophisticated. Now a handful of Derbyshire villages and towns continue to dress their wells with delicate, intricate and colourful designs, still using only natural and organic materials.

It is widely thought that Tissington was where Well Dressing originated, so every year this quaint and unspoilt village, nestled in the Derbyshire Dales area of Derbyshire, becomes the buzzing centre of the Well Dressing world.

There’s six Well Dressings to marvel at in the village of Tissington, an informative slideshow in the church about how they are created as well as a traditional Tearoom, so if you’re looking to experience a traditional day in a Derbyshire village, this is a great place to start.

Let’s take a walk around the Tissington Well Dressings…

The first Well Dressing you see upon entering the village, the Hands Well, has the theme of the ‘First Miracle’, The Wedding in Cana, depicting the bible story where Jesus turns water into wine.

Next is the Children’s Well Dressing, which although is much smaller than the rest, comes with just as much colour and charm as the rest. The design is based on a children’s book called ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’, and features a brilliant fluorescent pink pig.

Next Well Dressing stop is the Hall Well, opposite Tissington Hall. This depicts the biblical story of the parting of the red sea.

Passed Herbert’s Tearoom and just around the corner there is the Yew Tree Well, which had the theme of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. The highlight of this well dressing was definitely the brightly coloured flamingos and little monkeys. Just left of this creation is ‘On a Wick and Prayer’ a candle shop, located in the old Blacksmith’s Forge, which during the well dressing period offers workshops.

Walking passed the village duck pond you’ll find the Town Well, where this year the design was based around the story where Jesus feeds the 5,000.

Following the signs up through a little jitty and passed the Town Well, you’ll come to the Coffin Well Dressing –this year the design is for those who lost their lives in the world wars.

Tissington is one of the most unspoilt and picturesque villages in the county, and when staying in the area it makes for a brilliant place to visit.

Just 15 minutes’ drive away from Tissington is Ashbourne, plan your stay for next year’s Well Dressing or just to enjoy some down-time in the quaint village, here:

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