The Gazetteer

Wiltshire

Ansty - May Day. The 96 foot Maypole is believed to be tallest in the country.

Charlton - Duck Feast at the Cat Inn on 1st June. The 18th century 'thresher poet' Stephen Duck is commemorated each year by 'thirteen 'Duck' men, who drink from the Duck Goblet. The chairman, known as the Chief Duck, wears a tall hat trimmed with duck feathers' (Whitlock, 1976)

Cricklade - Snakeshead Fritillaries at North Meadow National Nature Reserve, in May. 108 acres of hay meadow. At its peak, in mid April, there one million looms have been counted. It is on commonland watermeadows between the Rivers Thames and Churn and can be seen from footpaths around the edge of the meadow. The fritillaries are followed by other wild flowers in May and June.

Green Men of Wiltshire - Grovely Forest Rites at Great Wishford on May 29th (Oakapple Day) - boughs are cut from the forest and hung on houses and church in Great Wishford accompanied by much dancing and singing to reaffirm the common rights to gather wood from the forest "Grovely, Grovely, Grovely and all Grovely! Unity is Strength!"

Marlborough - Mop Fair. The 'Little Mop', held on the Saturday before old Michaelmas (11 October) and the 'Big Mop' a week later. If the 11 October is a Saturday they are held two weeks apart. Now a fun fair, but once a hiring fair for people looking for work and employers looking for staff. A person looking for farm labouring work would advertise his interest by wearing an ear of corn in his hat or carrying a scythe, a shepherd would wear a tuft of wool and a servant might carry a mop. If after the first week they were not suited to the job (in their or their employer's opinion), they could go to the 'Big Mop' Fair a week later to try again. Marlborough's Mop Fairs are thought to have been held for over 250 years. Contact The Showman's Guild +44(0)1454 323974 or 228890.

Middle Woodford - Snowdrops at Heale Gardens in February. Contact +44 (0) 1722 782504) for dates and information.

Lacock - drifts of snowdrops and other spring bulbs in the Victorian woodland around Lacock Abbey during February. Contact +44(0)1249 730227.

Parish Maps of Wiltshire

All Cannings, Avebury, Coulston, Devizes, Donhead St Mary, Durnford, East Knoyle, Erlestoke, Firsdown, Great Cheverell, Highworth, Kennet & Avon Canal, Little Cheverell, Market Lavington, Melksham, Mere, Redlynch, Swallowcliffe, Teffont, Wanborough, Warminster, Wingfield, Winterslow, Woodford.

Stonehenge, Summer Solstice. Crowds including musicians, revellers, druids, witches and knights of King Arthur's Round Table gather at Stonehenge over the shortest night to celebrate the dawn of the longest day (21st June). After a number of years of unwelcome conflict, the event is now permitted by the authorities, with a 7am deadline to leave the area.

Urchfont - Scarecrow Festival, May Bank Holiday weekend. Scarecrows are made with a new theme each year and placed around the village. A scarecrow trail map and quiz encourages visitors to walk around the village and guess the identity of each scarecrow to raise funds for village causes. Started in 1997. Contact Jane Steadman, +44(0)1380 848201.


Apple Day, October 21st

Find events in Wiltshire and across the country on the APPLE DAY EVENTS LIST
or read about Wiltshire Orchards and Orchard Produce

TELL US about an event you are holding : email info [at] commonground.org.uk