Well dressing is an ancient Christian custom with its origins lost in the mists of time; what is certain is that it is a thanksgiving for a supply of clean water and that it is most prevalent in the Peak District and surrounding area.
The dressings themselves are beautifully crafted pictures made from flower petals and other natural materials pressed into clay on frames; they take many hours to make and in some places visitors can watch them being crafted. When the Dressings are finished they are set up at wells and springs to decorate them and in some cases there will be events through the short display season.
Tissington’s Dressings are erected on the Eve of Ascension Day and a special service takes place on Ascension Day morning itself at St Mary's church, followed by a procession around the village in which each of the wells are blessed in turn. The dressings stay in place for a week and are taken down on the Wednesday evening following Ascension Day.