Helpston John Clare Cushion Ceremony

Where: Helpston, Northants at the St Botolph's Church
When: Friday in early July
Time: 1pm


The poet John Clare is celebrated each year by a commemorative custom whereby flower garlands known as cushions are placed around the poet’s grave at Helpston church near Peterborough. Local schoolchildren place the cushions and read their own poetic compositions, followed by singing and prayers. The custom is part of an annual John Clare Festival celebrating the poets life and work; other events include music, poetry workshops and exhibitions. Clare was born on July 13th 1793 and the festival is timed to be close to his birthday.

Helpful Hints

In 2017 it was Friday July 14th with the festival continuing until Sunday 16th – 2018 dates are yet to be confirmed.

Click here for the event website :

Photo by Ajay Jayne.

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