Blessing of the wells in Buxton - what happens when

The blessing of the wells gets underway at 2pm on Sunday.
The blessing of the wells gets underway at 2pm on Sunday.

Buxton is gearing up for its annual well dressing festival which starts this weekend.

Petallers have been hard at work at St John’s Church preparing the boards for this year’s well dressings, which will be blessed on Sunday, July 8.

The event will get underway at 2pm near the Market Place well, a change of starting point from previous years.

High Peak Deputy Mayor, Coun John Watson, will accompany clergy and ministers, the retiring well dressing festival queen and her retinue, for the start of the civic procession which will visit each well on foot for the blessing service, accompanied by music from Fairfield Band.

The three wells to be blessed are the Market Place Well, the Children’s Well on Spring Gardens which will be decorated by pupils from Buxton Community School, and the St Anne’s Well near the Crescent.

This year the petallers decorating the wells will be marking 100 years since the women won the right to vote, and one of the wells will honour the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë.

A well dressing festival spokesperson said: “Women’s suffrage was a movement that successfully fought for this.

“We also celebrate the 125th anniversary of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and this well will focus on history, geology and archeology from the Peak District.”

Well dressing secretary Christine Gould said: “This year we are doing something new and different and creating another well display for the Pump Room.

“We will be making a display to honour the newly-restored stained glass windows, and there will be an information display to explain to visitors all about the traditions of well dressing.”

Following Sunday’s blessing of the wells, the crowning of the 2018 festival queen, 12-year-old St Thomas More pupil Phoebe Mitchell, will take place at St John’s Church at 3.15pm by retiring committee president Arthur Packham.

He said: “I now feel the time is right to pass on the baton. My wish is for Buxton’s ancient tradition of wells dressing to continue for many more years.”