TouchScreenTravels logo


Our Touch, your Travels…

This is a preview of the full content of our Birmingham & West Midlands app.

Please consider downloading this app to support small independent publishing and because:

  • All content is designed for mobile devices and works best there.
  • Detailed in-app maps will help you find sites using your device’s GPS.
  • The app works offline (one time upgrade required on Android versions).
  • All advertising (only present on Android versions) can be removed.

The app will also allow you to:

  • Add custom locations to the app map (your hotel…).
  • Create your own list of favourites as you browse.
  • Search the entire contents using a fast and simple text-search tool.
  • Make one-click phone calls (on phones).
iOS App Store Google Play

Well Dressing

Ancient Peak District custom

Fitzherbert School Well dressing and cottage - Tissington 2010 

What’s this? Decorating wells and water sources with garlands of flowers is a lovely ancient custom around the Staffordshire and Derbyshire Peak Districts, nearby villages and some other counties (May – September).

The designs gradually became more elaborate with wooden frames and clay boards used to create patterns for designs and wording. Flower petals, seeds, berries and leaves are laid over each other like roofing tiles, so rainwater runs off.

The actual timeline isn’t known but theories around well dressing include it being of Celtic pagan origin, reintroduced in the Derbyshire village of Tissington after it escaped the bubonic plague, the Black Death, from 1348.

Villages celebrate at different times from May–September and include Endon in Staffordshire, which crowns a well dressing queen, features Morris Dancers and a custom of the Throwing of the Sheaf. Hartington village on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border traditionally dresses its wells in September.

Practical Info Practical Info icon


Spring: Mar, Apr & May

Summer: June, July & Aug

Autumn: Sep, Oct & Nov

Ancient, Roman, Saxon

Text © Alison Plummer

Image by Mick Lobb