VIDEO: Celebrating 175 years of well dressing in Buxton

Well dressers in action at St John's Church, Buxton.
Well dressers in action at St John's Church, Buxton.

Preparations are well underway to mark the 175th anniversary of Buxton Well Dressing Festival next month.

Well dressing in the town dates back to 1840, when the 6th Duke of Devonshire arranged for a fountain to be built for the local population, providing a reliable source of running water on the Market Place in Higher Buxton.

It was supplied by water piped from the Cold Springs on Manchester Road – about two miles away. This is still sited at the top of Fountain Street and the current Market Place Well.

The local people were very grateful and decided to celebrate on June 24, 1840, by decorating the fountain and having a party in thanks to The Duke.

Fast forward 175 years, and preparations for 2015 are already in full swing. The Market Place Well has a theme of water and St. Ann’s Well will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

Pupils from Buxton Community School will be designing and decorating the Taylor Well on Spring Gardens.

Anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of the fascinating ancient tradition of well dressing can view the wells being dressed in St. John’s Church from Wednesday July 1 until Friday July 3. Entrance is free.

The traditional blessing of the wells will take place on Sunday July 5, followed by a ceremony to crown this year’s Buxton Well Dressing Festival royalty.

Carnival day is on Saturday July 11, and entry forms are downloadable from the newly-launched festival website or can be collected from Hargreaves on Spring Gardens or Goddards on High Street.
• If you can help out with marshalling on carnival day, call 07980 545196.