Mary Arden’s Farm may be closed to the public, but a few of the die-hard Tudors are determined to carry on and celebrate events from the Tudor calendar.
On Sunday 19th January, staff and volunteers processed the plough, beautifully bedecked with winter greenery and ribbons, from the farm to the local church. A special service was held to bless it. With Joe Moore on bagpipes and the carriers of the plough in their Tudor Sunday best, it really was a sight to behold on a crisp sunny morn.
The plough was carried up the aisle, and took pride of place before the high alter. Mistress Sarah gave a short reading about the traditions behind plough Monday.
Plough Monday was the Monday following 12th night, when work began again after the Christmas celebrations. Ploughs were often communal and shared by local farmers, these ploughs were kept at the church during the 12 days of Christmas. A plough light was kept burning before the sacrament or rood until plough Monday. The plough would then be decorated and blessed, before the young men of the village, would drag the plough door to door demanding money or ale from the residents.
Pretending that you were not in was not an option, if they didn’t get anything they would plough up the ground in front of your house.
No gardens were destroyed during the re-enactment, but much thanks from the church and congregation. A good time was had by all.