Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Well Dressing

This week is our village Well Dressing and above is the well dressed by the local Guides. They chose to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's book 'Alice in Wonderland'. The characters are based on the original illustrations by John Tenniel.

The main well dressing commemorates the granting of Magna Carta at Runnymede on June 15th 1215 where it was sealed - not signed - by King John and witnessed by twenty five barons. Magna Carta or The Great Charter was drawn up after a rebellion by the barons because the king had demanded heavy taxes to finance his unsuccesful wars in France. It enshrined the rights, privileges and liberties of the nobles and clergy and limited the power of the Crown.

Magna Carta was written in medieval Latin on parchment made from dried sheepskin and the words were often abbreviated to save space on the parchment. Many copies were made and sent out to bishops and sheriffs all over England. Only four of these copies survive, two in the British Library, one in Lincoln and one in Salisbury. I've seen the one in Salisbury Cathedral and it's much smaller than I'd imagined. It's an iconic document and inspired the American Declaration of Independence of 1775 and the 1948 UN Charter for Human Rights. Only three of the original clauses in Magna Carta are still law. One defends the freedom and rights of the English church, another confirms the liberties and customs of London and other towns, and the third paved the way for trial by jury by stating that no man could be arrested, imprisoned or have their possessions taken away except by “the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land”

This is the seal of King John who was the younger brother of Richard the Lionheart. John succeeded to the throne of England after Richard's death in 1199. John is also of course the villain, along with the Sheriff of Nottingham, in all the stories of Robin Hood. So there we are - that's the end of today's history lesson:)


The History Anorak said...

Aston WI did Alice too. It's been a few years since I went to any well dressings so it's been good to revive an interest this year.
That Baron on the left looks very fierce. No wonder John signed!

Mac n' Janet said...

Would love to see a well dressing, the Alice one is delightful.
Poor old King John, not as bad as some and his brother Richard would probably been worse had he ever bothered to live in England, instead he just sucked it dry of money for his Crusades.

Rosie said...

Both lovely well dressings. It is a good year for anniversaries isn't it? Magna Carta, Waterloo, Alice in Wonderland plus a few more. I've seen the Magna Carta in Lincoln and it was smaller than expected:)

BlueShell said...

What a brilliant Idea. I learn about the Magma Carta when I was a girl, at school.... and latter in the university.

Well done.

greetings from Central Portugal

Cheryl said...

I watched a piece on well dressing last evening........fascinating.
Such a lot of work goes into them and they look absolutely beautiful on completion.
I love the Alice in Wonderland display........magical.

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh that looks so lovely.
An interesting read, good information ... thank you.

All the best Jan

Louise said...

I think I've only managed to see two this year! I've not made much effort to see them or had a lot of time to really and it's nice not to be visiting so many after visiting most of them last year. This one looks great and I think it's great that there have been lots of Magna Carta themed boards.