Well dressing, also known as well flowering, is a tradition practised in some parts of rural England in which wells, springs and other water sources are decorated with designs created from flower petals. The custom is most closely associated with the Peak District of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. James Murray Mackinlay, writing in 1893, noted that the tradition was not observed in Scotland; W. S. Cordner, in 1946, similarly noted its absence in Ireland. Both Scotland and Ireland do have a long history of the veneration of wells, however, dating from at least the 6th century.
The custom of well dressing is first attested in 1348 at Tissington in Derbyshire, and evolved from "the more widespread, but less picturesque" decoration of wells with ribbons and simple floral garlands.
The location identified most closely with well dressing is Tissington, Derbyshire, though the origins of the tradition are obscure. It has been speculated that it began as a pagan custom of o