32 - Editorial

12:37AM BST - Sunday, 17 June 2007

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Those attending the Bunting Society's 2005 Gathering on October 22 will, we are sure, be enchanted with its new venue this year: the Derbyshire village of Tissington, some 4 miles north of Ashbourne just off the main road to Buxton. The meeting is being held in the village hall, itself a picturesque building on the edge of the expansive triangular village green.

Tissington is famous for its 'well dressing'. Each Ascension Day six water wells in the village are decorated with flowers. Although now a Christian event, it is thought to have its origins in Roman or even pagan offerings in thanks to the gods for water.

Tissington village is effectively part of the private estate of Tissington Hall, home -to this day - of the FitzHerbert family for over 500 years, although the current hall, which is open to the public, dates from around 1600. Just behind the village hall is St Mary's Church (see back cover) which dates from about 1100. The tower has walls that are 4 feet thick at the base, and one of the original windows remains in the south wall.
Visible wear to the stonework around St Mary's main doorway is attributed to arrow sharpening by local bowmen who, from 1363, were required to keep their weapons ready for immediate use. Numerous members of the FitzHerbert family are interred in the church, with a particularly elaborate memorial to Francis Fitzherbert who dies in 1619 and his son John who died in 1642. A cursory stroll by your editor round the churchyard failed to locate any Bunting graves.

There is evidence that non-conformism a) came late to Tissington and b) was not especially welcomed. The village's tiny Methodist Chapel, though modestly signposted, was built only in 1955 and is situated up a muddy single-track lane, in the corner of a field, some 100 yards outside Tissington's main precincts.

Comments (1)

The Bunting Society