Crown of flowers for child to wear to church.

Originally the floors of churches were simply of earth, covered in rushes, and it was commonplace to bury bodies of parishioners within the church as well as in the churchyard. In ancient times parishioners brought sweet smelling rushes at the feasts of dedication to strew within the church, to purify the air and help insulate the worshippers from the cold. The festivity gained the name Rushbearing. This practice stopped in the 1800's, when the floors were flagged, but the ancient custom still continues in five Cumbrian Churches, where wild rushes and flowers are paraded round the village in procession, and ending in a rush strewn Church. Today the 'rushbearing' is is a cross made of rushes or flowers and carried by the children of the parish. A procession is led by a band, followed by the clergy, and then the children of the village, and ends at the Church with hymns and prayers.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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