Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

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Date:1900 - 1905 (c.)

Description:The description on the front of this postcard view is ‘Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers Established 400 Hundred Years’. In this scene the Horn Dancers are pictured in Abbots Bromley by the west door of St. Nicholas’s Church, which has a late 17th century west tower. The rest of the church is of about 1300 but was extensively rebuilt by G.E. Street in 1852-55.

The Horn Dance is an annual event which takes place on the first Monday after the first Sunday after the 4th of September. The tradition is believed to date back to 1226 when it was part of a three day event celebrating St. Bartholomew's Day (24th August), although the earliest documentary evidence is Robert Plot's description of 1686.

There are usually 11 performers. Six dancers dressed in green jackets, breeches and green stockings, three carrying white painted reindeer horns, the other three, black horns. In addition there are the Fool, the Hobby-horse, Maid Marion, a cross-bow bearer (often a small boy), and a melodeon player.

The annual Horn Dance usually attracts many visitors from around the world to view this amazing spectacle. However, in 2020 the Horn Dance that was due to take place on Monday 7th September was cancelled due to Covid-19 Virus.

This postcard was published by William Shaw, Burslem and it was printed in Germany.

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Image courtesy of: The Arthur Lloyd Collection

Donor ref:A_Lloyd-391aa (232/43090)

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