Barlow 'Main' Well

August 13th - 20th 2008

St. Francis of Assisi

This well was dressed with one 'wrap around' picture - 16' 6" long.

We had a bit of a dilemma choosing our theme for this year. It was the 400th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwick), an important figure in Derbyshire in Elizabethan times. Her first husband was Robert Barley and, although he died at only 13 years old, she retained an interest in Barlow for the rest of her long life. Bess seemed an obvious choice of theme for our well. It was suggested, however, since Bess was influential throughout Derbyshire (noteably Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall) that she would be the 'obvious' choice for almost all of the village wells. Ours being later on in the year it might be seen as 'another' picture of Bess! So our picture featured Saint Francis of Assisi the patron saint of birds and animals, it being the 800th anniversary of his founding of the 'Order of Friors Minor' (the Franciscans).

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. Bess was remembered in dates on the 'uprights' (at the front of the well-dressing) and in the shield above the arch - E.S. ( Elizabeth Shrewsbury) and her Countess coronet. The idea is taken from the six stone rooftop 'balustrades' at Hardwick Hall.