Ambleside Rushbearing

St Mary's Parish, Church
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ambleside Rushbearing is a centuries-old tradition in the Lake District

Ambleside and Grasmere Rushbearing is a centuries-old tradition in the Lake District. Parishioners would bring rushes to the church to be strewn on the floor. The rushes were originally used to keep the church floor clean and to help insulate the worshippers from the cold. However, the practice of rushbearing has evolved into a colourful and festive event, with children carrying elaborately decorated rush crosses in a procession through the village.

The most famous rush bearing ceremonies in the Lake District are held in Grasmere and Ambleside.

The Grasmere ceremony takes place on the second Saturday in July, following the Ambleside ceremony on the first Saturday.

The procession in Grasmere starts at the village school and winds its way through the village to the village green, where there is a short service and singing. The rush crosses are then placed on the altar in the church.

The Ambleside ceremony is similar to the Grasmere ceremony, but it also includes a children’s sports day. The children compete in a variety of events, such as sack races, egg-and-spoon races, and three-legged races. The winner of each event receives a prize.

Rushbearing ceremonies are a popular event in the Lake District, and they attract visitors from all over the world. They are a celebration of community and tradition, and they offer a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the region.

Here are some other facts about Rushbearing Ceremonies in the Lake District:

  • The tradition of rushbearing is thought to have originated in the early Christian church.
  • The rushes were originally brought to the church as a symbol of purity and cleanliness.
  • The practice of rushbearing declined in the 1800s, when church floors began to be paved with flags.
  • However, the tradition was revived in the early 20th century, and it is now a popular event in many villages in the Lake District.
  • The rush crosses are often decorated with flowers, ribbons, and other objects.
  • The children who carry the rush crosses are often rewarded with sweets or other treats.
  • Rushbearing ceremonies are a time for community celebration and fellowship.

If you are ever in the Lake District in July, be sure to check out one of the Rushbearing ceremonies. It is a unique and colorful event that is sure to be a memorable experience.

St Mary's Parish, Church

6th July 2024
5th July 2025
5th July 2025


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Lakeland Retreats do not run this event. For accurate, up to date information, please contact the organiser.
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