82We visited the town during Buxton’s annual well dressing week. As well
as three wells being dressed there is also a carnival, a blessing of
the wells and a local fair.
The origins of the ceremony are obscure, but are usually connected to
pagan practice. Henry VIII’s Commissioners definitely wanted to stop
this superstitious activity in the town.
It was recommenced in Victorian times, and has had an almost
continuous existence ever since.
It takes about ten days to prepare a dressing. Flower petals and other
natural items are placed on wet clay. The patterns chosen were once
only religious. All the well dressings in Buxton this year were
The Children’s Well had colourful exotic animal scenes.
The dressing at St Anne’s Well was a celebration of the Year of the
The well in the Market Place was a celebration of Roald Dahl.
Account of visit written by Karen McKay