Well Dressing 'John Wesley', Foolow (2003)

Recent Photograph of Well Dressing 'John Wesley' (2003) (Foolow)

The following information - which was placed alongside the Well boards to accompany the display in 2003 - was very kindly contributed by Derek Lee on 13th September 2003. Derek is a graduate of the Sheffield College of Art, and has been designing the Well Dressings at Foolow for the past 20 years. The photograph is by Bill Ayers.

Derek has also provided some notes on The Derbyshire Custom of Well Dressing on a separate web page.


Having had secular themes for the past two years. (The Golden Jubilee of the Peak District National Park in 2001 and the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002) we thought that this year we would return to the traditional 'religious' roots of well dressing.

2003 being the tercentenary of the birth of John Wesley at Epworth in Lincolnshire where his father was rector, he is an ideal subject to portray. The design is based upon a stained glass window which, is featured on the John Wesley Web Site but unfortunately there is no reference of the location so we cannot give due recognition to the site or artist responsible. The main picture shows John Wesley preaching in the churchyard at Epworth standing on the tomb of his father since he was banned from preaching in church. The horse pictured in the foreground recognises the fact that he rode many thousands of miles around the countryside on horseback delivering his sermons in towns and villages. It is recorded that he delivered one of his sermons in Paradise Square. Sheffield.

The top panel shows the Old Rectory at Epworth as it is today being completely restored in 1956 by the World Methodist Council and is open to the public

Here are the most important dates in the life of John Wesley

1703John Wesley born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England
1709Fire at Epworth Rectory - John Wesley rescued.
  Fire at Epworth Rectory, John Wesley rescued
1714Admitted to Charterhouse School, London
1720Undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford
1725Ordained deacon
1726Elected Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford
1735Missionary in Georgia, returning 1737
1738Aldersgate experience: "I felt my heart strangely warmed."
1739Commences outdoor preaching
From the 1730s until his death, it is calculated that John Wesley travelled some many thousands of miles around Britain, on horseback and by carriage; preached several times each day and wrote or edited some 400 publications. He left behind a movement of about 70,000 members.
1744First Methodist Conference
1751Marriage to Mrs Mary Vazeille (separated 1755)
1791Died on 3 March at City Road, London.

The Blessing Service this year took place on 23rd August 2003 at 1pm. with the Well Dressings on display all the following week, 23rd - 31st.

(Information provided by Derek Lee)

Image contributed by Derek Lee/Bill Ayers on 13th September 2003.
This is a Genealogy Website
URL of this page: http://places.wishful-thinking.org.uk/DBY/Foolow/Well2003.html
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library