Historic village with annual well dressing festival
Etwall dates from the 7th Century AD and ‘Etewell’ was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Due to its location it was easy to dig wells and there are over sixty wells in the village although many are now disused. Since 1970 the annual Well Dressing Festival has taken place on the third weekend in May, attracting visitors from far and wide.
The well dressings are designed, produced and mounted by societies, clubs and groups of residents and celebrate a variety of themes. The event raises money for prominent local charities and contributes substantially to the local sense of community and identity.
The village developed as a major stopping point on the Derby-Uttoxeter turnpike and had a station on the old Great Northern Line. The former railway track that ran through the village is now part of the National Cycle Network.
Etwall today is a peaceful village with some great traditional pubs and a number of historically notable buildings. While you are there take a look at the famous Alms Houses located adjacent to St Helens Church and laying behind the ornamental ‘Robert Bakewell’ Gates, which originally belonged to the old Etwall Hall (now the site of John Port School).
The De Ferrers family and Sir John Port were well known families connected to the village and their names will be found related to much of the area’s history.