Many old customs still survive to this day and are proudly enacted by their local community.
Most of these customs derive from Pagan rituals.
One of the village wells at Lastingham near
in Pickering North Yorkshire is dedicated to St Cedd who founded a
monastery there in the 7th century.
In former times it was a local custom for the local girls to dip their
garters in the well on St Agnes’ Eve (20th January) in order to
secure their betrothal.
St Cedd's Well
Another old custom still occurs in the area at weddings. During the marriage service, local children secure the churchyard gates with string and before the wedded couple can be released the Groom must throw handfuls of coins into the group of waiting children.
A custom which has survived at Wimborne Minster in
Dorset is that where the Verger walks round the Minster
during the reading of the lessons at Matins and Evensong with a long wand – in
order to keep the congregation awake!
In the little
village of Aston-on-Clun, a curious custom is enacted on 29th May
each year when what is called an arbor
tree is decorated with flags of all nations. The tree is now a sapling which was planted
in a special corner of the village to replace the original tree first decorated in 1786 to celebrate the
marriage of local landowner John Marston and Mary Carter.
Travelling along the A832 near Munlochy on the Black Isle on
north eastern coast, you may be surprised to see that someone has hung their
extensive washing on the trees and bushes at the side of the road. It is in fact the site of a ‘Clootie Well’
dedicated to St Curidan and legend has it that its waters have
healing or magical properties. Those who drink and wash at the well hang pieces of bright cloth, which they have used to wash themselves, on the
nearby branches as an offering to the spirit of the well. Scotland
The Clootie Well