A traditional Tudor Wassail, complete with dancing, drumming and a torchlit procession, took place at Michelham Priory House & Gardens on Saturday (January 22nd, 2022).

Common across Sussex around 500 years ago, Wassailing involves visiting an orchard to promote a good harvest for the coming year. The noise of the celebration was said to wake apple trees from their seasonal slumber and scare away any evil spirits that may have been lurking among them.

Led by historical experts, the Wassail included entertainment from Blackpowder Morris, Gallyard Tudor Dancers and Pentacle Drummers. Revellers brought along musical instruments and wore homemade costumes including feathers and foliage. As well as blessing the trees, visitors indulged in some winter feasting.

Michelham Priory House & Gardens will be open to visitors from March 1st 2022.

For more images, see the gallery on our Sussex Past Facebook page.