Children recreate centuries-old Plough Monday tradition

Tilney All Saints schoolchildren taking part in the revived Sharing the Plough Day, pushing a plough

Tilney All Saints schoolchildren taking part in the revived Sharing the Plough Day, pushing a plough from the school to the church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Children re-enacted an ancient tradition as they followed the plough through their village.

Tilney All Saints schoolchildren twins Lewis and Ethan, nine, as molly dancers, taking part in the r

Tilney All Saints schoolchildren twins Lewis and Ethan, nine, as molly dancers, taking part in the revived Sharing the Plough Day, pushing a plough from the school to the church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Records show that Plough Monday parades have taken place at Tilney All Saints, near King's Lynn, since 1453.

Farm workers would perform a song and dance for villagers in return for a donation to themselves or the church.

Tilney All Saints deputy head, Jeremy Wilkinson, helps the schoolchildren taking part in the revived

Tilney All Saints deputy head, Jeremy Wilkinson, helps the schoolchildren taking part in the revived Sharing the Plough Day pushing a plough from the school to the church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

If the donation was not deemed large enough or families did not make a donation, they could expect to see their gardens ploughed up in farming's answer to trick or treat.

Pupils from Tilney All Saints and Anthony Curton primaries recreated the rural tradition for a special lottery-funded history project.

Tilney All Saints schoolchildren taking part in the revived Sharing the Plough Day from the school t

Tilney All Saints schoolchildren taking part in the revived Sharing the Plough Day from the school to the church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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Sixty youngsters paraded behind a hand plough and tractor from Tilney school to the village church where the plough was blessed, before the children performed traditional 'molly dancing' to historic music from the village collected by the composer Vaughan Williams.

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