London Knollys Rose Ceremony

Where: London - Procession starts at All-Hallows-by-the-Tower on Byward Street , moving to Seething Lane for the cutting. 2017: cutting to take place in garden at All Hallows by the Tower while Seething Lane garden is undergoing an overhaul
When: Date and weekday can vary - currently often a Wednesday in early June
Time: 10.45



Procession forms

The Knollys Rose Ceremony is a revival of a custom in which a rose was given as payment for a fine. Back in 1381 a footbridge was erected without permission between two properties on Seething Lane owned by Lady Constance Knollys and for this transgression she was fined one red rose; the custom was revived in the twentieth century and is carried out by the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames. The Master of the Company chooses a rose (formerly from the garden on Seething Lane but currently from the garden at All Hallows while work at Seething Lane is ongoing); the cut blossom is carried ceremonially on a velvet cushion by the Verger of All-Hallows-by-the-Tower in a colourful procession to the Mansion House, where is it presented to the Lord Mayor in a private ceremony.

Helpful Hints

It usually takes place in June but the date and weekday can vary depending on the availability of the Lord Mayor so is agreed on a year-by-year basis rather than being firmly fixed.

Anyone can watch the rose cutting and procession – just don’t expect to get into the private ceremony at the Mansion House. Currently the rose is plucked from a bush in the garden immediately outside the East wall of the church, in front of the coffee shop, and the Procession passes the site of Knowles House on Seething Lane on its way to the Mansion House.

“Knollys” is pronounced just like “Knowles”.

In 2017 it was held on Wednesday June 14th – 2018 date is yet to be announced.

Click here for the event website :

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