Greatham Sword Dance

Where: Greatham, Co Durham at the Hospital Gates on Front Street
When: Boxing Day 26th December
Time: 12 noon



Every Boxing Day the Redcar Sword Dancers perform outside the gates to Greatham Hospital; their revival has been established for nearly 50 years carrying on a tradition hundreds of years old. They wear military style uniforms with red jackets and carry steel swords, performing intricate longsword dances from the North East of England. As well as dancing, the team put on a traditional mummers play with a death followed by a resurrection by the doctor. During the last dance, the performers are showered with coins so don’t forget to take some!

Helpful Hints

Greatham Hospital is a complex of almshouses dating back to medieval times rather than a modern A&E facility.

The performance lasts around half-an-hour, then the group line up for a photo at the gates before retiring to the local pub to warm up.

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