Peak District well dressers will delight at RHS Chatsworth

Volunteers at St John's Church in Buxton preparing the well dressings. Pictured are Pauline Ashmore, Claire Millard, and Sonia Burgess.
Volunteers at St John's Church in Buxton preparing the well dressings. Pictured are Pauline Ashmore, Claire Millard, and Sonia Burgess.

Four of the five Wells dressing entries which have been selected to showcase their talents at first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show are from the peak District.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced that the designs of Ashford Women’s Institute, Buxton Well Dressing, Burton Closes Hall and Bakewell AJ Welldressing, and Tideswell Well Dressers will be working to create beautiful designs in natural materials for display at the show, along with Chesterfield Town Pump Group.

Liz Patterson, Deputy Show Manager, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the first ever RHS Well Dressing Competition at our new RHS Show at Chatsworth.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response we have received from local well dressing groups. We received some really exciting designs and concepts, and can’t wait to see the finished product.

“We don’t have any wells or springs at the show but the technique and skill used will be the same and aims to bring this unique custom to a different audience.

“We are sure our visitors will love it, and plan that this becomes a regular feature at the show.”
More than 62,000 tickets have already been sold for the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, for which the overarching theme is ‘Design Revolutionaries’.

The winning well dressing designs draw inspiration from the Derbyshire landscape and great innovators who had a significant impact on the 1000-acre Chatsworth Estate, based in Bakewell.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, said: “This a brilliant opportunity for the successful Well Dressing teams to showcase both age-old skills handed down through the generations and the Peak District and Derbyshire’s unique and most ancient tradition at a world class event visited by tens of thousands of people from both the UK and overseas.

“Many congratulations to all concerned, and we look forward to seeing their imaginative designs in full bloom in June.”

Well dressing is an age-old custom unique to the Peak District and Derbyshire, which is thought to date back to Roman and Celtic times, when communities would dress wells to give thanks for fresh water supplies.

The tradition continues in scores of towns and villages between May and September each year, when everyone from schoolchildren to grandparents pitches in to create living arts installations made from flower petals and other natural materials.

On Wednesday, June 7 will be for RHS Chatswoerth will be for, Thursday 8 - Saturday, June 10 10am - 6.30pm, Sunday, June 11 10am - 5pm to book tickets 0844 995 9664 or