Silsoe Hunting of the Wren

Where: Silsoe, Bedfordshire outside the Star and Garter pub on the High Street
When: Boxing Day 26th December
Time: 12 noon

 

The Hunting of the Wren at Silsoe is a modern day interpretation of the old Irish custom with the added advantage that no birds are harmed during the ceremony! Hunting the Wren was a widespread Celtic winter custom in which groups paraded their locality, particularly on Boxing Day, bearing a decorated garland or box containing a dead wren, mumming and singing in return for rewards of food and money. Local Morris side Hemlock Morris perform at the event and they process to the High Street with their artificial wren on a stick, before dancing, readings, acting and music outside the pub for around an hour. Hemlock are a mixed side, wearing the gothic apparel of  Border Morris but performing mainly Cotswold style dances. While Boxing Day dancing and mumming has taken place at Silsoe for a number of years, the Wren Ceremony was introduced more recently by current Squire of Hemlock Andrew Miller, making it a much more unusual event.

Helpful Hints

Expect a crowd of a couple of hundred; the road is closed during the event, which is free to attend and lasts around an hour.

Click here for Hemlock Morris’ website: http://hemlockmorris.com

and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/66166831677