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24 May - 31 May 2008

Well dressing at Middleton by Youlgrave 2008

This year 2008 the chosen central theme of the Middleton by Youlgrave well dressing is 'Farming'.

A coin collection is made at the site of the well in Middleton by Youlgrave and donated to local charities.





Well dressing is a Derbyshire custom in Peak District villages. Panels of clay are prepared and then soaked in the old sheep wash in Middleton Dale for a couple of weeks. Thousands of flower petals, leaves, seeds, mosses and lichens are used to create a picture. The panels are laboriously decorated by pressing the individual items into the clay. The work by several villagers extends to five days.   Photographs from 2007 well dressing

The panels are erected and blessed at the sites of the village wells to celebrate the gift of water for the village communities. The well dressings are now annual tourist attractions and often incorporated into a carnival week in many villages.

1876 MIDDLETON WELL              Middleton by Youlgrave well under repair
The old well is opposite my studio in the village square. In 1876 the village water supply was embellished by a stone surround.

In May 2007 the well was refurbished and repaired. Ironwork within the stonework had corroded, expanded and seriously damaged the ball finial and some of the stone columns and panels.

The eight photos below of well dressings from previous years are the copyright of Barry Crowley who has kindly given his permission to use them on my website. Barry is an ornithologist and photographer who has regularly visited the area and my studio over many years.

You will see that I am missing two years (2001 and 2002) reference photographs. If you have a photo of Middleton by Youlgrave well dressings from these years then please contact me.

1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007   2008
all 9 years

Locals refer to their village as Middleton by Youlgrave omitting the 'e' in Youlgreave as it appears on the official road sign and maps.