RUSHBEARING

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    Rex Ham
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    In Parishes along the River Dee (Holt, Farndon and Isycoed, there is an old tradition which, whilst surviving is little known outside the communities called Rushbearing. I’ve copied this from WIKI:
    “Rushbearing is an old English ecclesiastical festival in which rushes are collected and carried to be strewn on the floor of the parish church. The tradition dates back to the time when most buildings had earthen floors and rushes were used as a form of renewable floor covering for cleanliness and insulation. The festival was widespread in Britain from the Middle Ages and well established by the time of Shakespeare,[1] but had fallen into decline by the beginning of the 19th century, as church floors were flagged with stone. The custom was revived later in the 19th century and is kept alive today as an annual event in a number of towns and villages in the north of England.
    Rushbearing ceremonies have survived, or been revived, in a number of towns and villages in northwest England including: Lymm in Cheshire, Gorton, Littleborough, and Saddleworth in Greater Manchester, Newchurch in Pendle in Lancashire, Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire, and Ambleside, Great Musgrave, Grasmere, Urswick and Warcop in Cumbria. Rushbearing is also found in some parishes in North-East Wales such as Holt and Isycoed on the west side of the River Dee.”
    This weekend is Rushbearing in Holt. Quite a few families keep the tradition alive by decorating family graves and there is usually some activity in St Chads Church. Try and visit if you can.

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