Charlton-on-Otmoor Garland Ceremony

Where: Charlton-on-Otmoor, Oxon at St Mary the Virgins Church
When: Schoolday near 1 May
Time: 11 am at Church, Dancing after at Old Rectory


The Garland at Charlton-on-Otmoor is a rare survival of a church decorating custom and it takes place each May and September. A cross-shaped figure on top of the rood screen has its greenery replaced by the churchwardens and children also bring a long floral garland to a special service, which is followed by maypole and country dancing.

Helpful Hints

As the local school children take a major role, the event is held on a schooldays, usually near May 1st but sometimes later in the month to fit in with school holidays and other commitments.

In 2017 it will be on Friday May 26th at 10 am (I think the Procession will leave the school about half an hour before this but am not certain so allow a little time in advance!). I was originally given a starting time of 11, but this was corrected very near the date!

The garlands stay in place after the ceremony for visitors to enjoy.

Click here for the Church contact details:

and here for the school:

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