Pagan rituals and freemasonary? All in a day at Wirksworth Carnival
I’ve just got back from a great day at Wirksworth Carnival. This is an annual festival in the town where I grew up. It was good to see some old friends, see the fancy dress procession with the floats and look around the well dressings.
The Well Dressings are clay plaques decorated with petals that are placed around the town. The tradition is thought to date from medieval times when Christians were thanking God for clean water but they could easily date back further and come from ancient pagan rituals. Today they are simply a tourist attraction put on by local community groups to raise money for charity.
This year I noticed that the Freemasons had a well and that they also had their meeting place the Moot Hall open. So we took the opportunity to look around and have a chat about the history of the lead mining court that is also held in the building, as well as a chat about freemasonary itself. It was refreshing to see a group like this being so open about what they do and wanting to promote themselves in this way.