Lenton (SK5539), Nottinghamshire
Llewellynn Jewitt (Auth.)
ON ANCIENT CUSTOMS AND SPORTS OF THE COUNTY OF NOTTINGHAM
*Journal of the British Archaeological Association,
1853, Vol.8, pp.229-240
A rambling general summary of customs in Notts. It followed two similar
papers concerning Cheshire and Derbyshire, and a certain amount of
extrapolation from these counties is evident.
Among the customs covered are; drawing lots for Valentines near Mansfield, the
blessing of St. Ann's Well, Nottingham on Easter Monday and of another well at
Newark, a May-pole at Hucknall Folkard [presumably meant to be Hucknall
Torkard], divination on All Hallows at Lenton, the perambulation of crib called a
Wassail Cup at Christmas, and Groaning Cakes & Cheeses - a birth custom.
He quotes Deering's description of the Midsummer's Eve watch at Nottingham.
The description of Christmas says "... the mummers, or guisors, pass from house
to house, and still perform their play of St. George..."
Also; "On Plough Monday, as well as during the Christmas holidays, the plough
bullocks are still to be seen in various parts of the country. This extremely
picturesque and popular custom, - with its plough, drawn by farmer's men, gaily
dressed in ribbands, its drivers, with their long wands and bladders, its
sword-dancers, its fool and its celebrated Bessy, and hobby-horse, - I have
described in my Derbyshire paper; it will therefore be sufficient to say, that
amongst other places the neighbourhoods of Newstead, Mansfield, and Southwell,
are still famous for its observance, and that it has been well described by
Washington Irving in his Newstead Abbey."
Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1912a)
[Plough Monday at Wollaton and Lenton Sands, Notts.]
*Nottinghamshire Weekly Express,
Source states; "Professor Granger was lecturing on 'Myth and Legend,' and he
referred to an old Nottingham festival 'Plough Monday." In 1822 the mummers at
Wollaton so frightened two horses that they ran away and killed two persons, as
a result of which the town authorities decided that these people should behave
more quietly, and should never come quite to the top of Derby road. It was also
recorded that mummers with black faces came up Lenton Sands, 'kissed nursemaids,
and made babies cry.' Usages like this, said the lecturer, carry us back to
some of the most wholesome parts of our national life. 'Let us keep to our
English legends, and let us only bring in legends of other races and other times
so far as it is necessary from the literary work of the child towards the end of
* indicates data that not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.