Some Pictures of Previous Years
Barlow wells have been dressed, year on year, for at least 150 years.

The 'Main' well was given to the people of Barlow by the Duke of Rutland provided that we dressed it year on year. If it was not dressed for two consecutive years then the well would be taken back into the Duke's estate.


Main Well 1907

Recent Years

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The dressers working on the uprights in 1907

Main Well 1906

Maypole and Band - Main Well 1906

A picture taken in 1898 from the viewpoint of the Peacock pub .


This is a cutting from a French newspaper or periodical of 1912.

It shows a photo of what is clearly the Barlow main well dressing that year, unfortunately, a common mistake, they thought it was in Baslow.


"In Derbyshire - an Original Custom


It is probable that this curious custom, the origin of which no one can explain, recalls a year of very great drought which saw almost all wells in [the] County [of] Derby dry up. In memory of the event the inhabitants took the habit of celebrating those of the deepest wells which prevented them from dying of thirst. The most original, this year, was that of the village of Baslow [sic], with its gracious guard of cute peasants [!] in their Sunday best. For eight days it kept its ornaments recalling by its inscriptions and its drawings a memory of local history and on this occasion the village organized a festival, a fair, an assembly, a pardon [?] - as we would designate such a festival in our French provinces. V. F."


More often than not, over the years, the 'Main' well has been dressed with four pictures but occasionally there have been three, one large one at the back and one on either side. On the odd year there has just been one picture curving round from the back to the sides as shown on these examples from 1973 and 1975. The one picture design has become popular again in recent times and has been done this way since 2006.

Prince Phillip

Elizabeth II

Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee 1977
'Main' Well 1978
'Main' Well 1925
'Main' Well 1981
'Main' Well 1983
'Main' Well 1937
'Main' Well 1998
Small Well 1939
Valley Rise 1978
Valley Rise 1984
'Main' Well 1908
'Main' Well 1924
'Main' Well 1924 side panel
'Main' Well 1936
Valley Rise 1982
Valley Rise 1983
Valley Rise 1995
Main Well 1905
Main Well (not dated)
Main Well (not dated)

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