Filed under calendar traditions

Harvest Home, Monmouthshire, 1796

This is from a wonderful book I’ve just discovered, The Diary of a Farmer’s Wife 1796-1797 account of a single year written by Anne Hughes who lived in the remote countryside near Chepstow, Monmouthshire. It’s wonderful as it is written in her dialect, which is sending my spellchecker into meltdown, but you can hear the speech … Continue reading

Widdecombe Fair

I recently made a wonderful purchase from an antiques store – this fine pottery mug, of indeterminate age, which came from a dealer in Burton on the Water, Gloucestershire. But the fair it refers to is on wildest Dartmoor, about half way between Buckfastleigh and Moretonhampstead, and now found in atlases as Widecombe in the … Continue reading

Scattering Grass In Wingrave Church

This is a strange ritual, but one recent enough to be traceable and so makes sense, well sort of. This is from Highways & Byways in Buckinghamshire: [Wingrave] church is the principal attraction. There is, for example, a rhyming record of a charity in one of the aisles: As day doth pass from houre to … Continue reading

America’s Early Celebrations

The American colonies came from a country that had a rich heritage of significant dates, with spring and autumn benchmarking the agricultural year, Lady Day 25th march (still the start of our financial year) and lots of other dates marking the legal and religious calendars, with fairs and markets often held on saints days. And … Continue reading