Well Dressing at ‘Pennyworth Well’ – Radnorshire

well dressingTraditionally, oak and ash would be planted by a well as it was useful to have a tree alongside to hang rags upon when ‘well dressing’. Pennyworth Well is ‘dressed’ every third year with a different design.

In the previous autumn, natural materials – grasses, flowers, leaves, tree bark and seeds are collected ready to be added into a mosaic picture with the new summer flower petals and moss. We always combine some of the harvest of the previous year to remind us of the year-on-year supply of Nature’s water.

Our Original plan (Plan A !) was going to be this though :
Clay is to be dug from one of the HoBB fields and puddled into a grand messy state within an old bath then towelled out over a soaked frame to a depth of around 2cm. The design, on paper, created earlier in the year and will be enlarged to the same size as the frame. This is then transferred across to the surface of the clay with a small wooden spike, dot-by-dot through the paper pattern. We’ll then follow the resulting holes in the clay using our own black sheep wool , pushed into the clay surface to create an outline of the design.

From this point onwards, we’ll follow the colours on the original drawing and bit-by-bit, press each flower, each leaf and each seed into the clay by hand.”

The above was a bit involved so we changed it!

The themes for our well dressings are always Natural in nature. The completed well dressing usually stays in place for a fair while, so long as the weather plays its part in the longevity of the dressing.

If you want to do some future well dressing here or at your own well, let me know.

Throwing a coin in and making ~~~~~~~~~~ waves from Grant