On Saturday 15 July 2017 the Friends of Brislington Brook are celebrating St Anne’s Day by hosting the 2017 St Anne’s Day medieval pageant from Brislington Village, following the Brislington Brook through Nightingale Valley and St Anne’s Woods to St Anne’s Well. This is a non religious event and is open to everyone to come and enjoy.
The Pageant: History.
The Holy Well of St Anne, situated in the middle of St Anne’s Woods, was once one of the most important sites of pilgrimage in the British Isles. It was visited by royalty, noblemen, sailors and merchants. King Henry VII is also known to have visited the Chapel of St Anne in the Wood on pilgrimage, before it fell foul to Dissolution of Monasteries. It is for these reasons that the Friends of Brislington Brook, and it’s predecessors, choose to celebrate St Anne’s Day (which falls on the 26 July each year).
The Pageant: 2017 Route.
The 2017 St Anne’s Day pageant will have two starting points. From midday the pageant will congregate outside the Kings Arm pub, in Brislington Village. Following alongside the Brislington Brook, the pageant will process through the street of Brislington, arriving at our second starting point at the Hill Lawn entrance to Nightingale Valley. We have listen to comments from the 2016 pageant so will this year, will not congregate on Hill Lawn until 12:30 (for anyone with buggies or small children etc that don’t want to walk on public roads through Brislington). From Hill Lawn we will progress into Nightingale Valley, following the Brislington Brook past the London Plane Tree and over the Packhorse Bridge, heading out through St Anne’s Terrance. We will then cross over the railway and head into St Anne’s Woods through both the Newbridge Road steps and slope entrance. Congregating again next to the Brislington Brook, then walking through the woodland to our final stop at St Anne’s Well. Please be aware this is NOT a circular walk.
Post-pageant celebrations: Community picnic in St Anne’s Woods.
This year we are encouraging everyone to bring a picnic along on the pageant, and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon in the beautiful surroundings of St Anne’s Woods. To keep the kids entertained we will have BS4Youth with kids crafts and activities. The lovely ladies of the Brislington WI will be coming along with a selection of their famous home baked cakes which can be purchased for a very reasonable donation. Bristol Waste Company will be sharing ideas on how we can recycle more and keep our woodland areas litter free
Pre-pageant celebrations: The Kings Arms.
Due to the huge success of the pre-pageant celebrations of 2016, Wozz and Tina at the Kings Arms, Brislington Village, have welcomed the Friends of Brislington Brook back for the 2017 celebrations. Again they have agreed to open their doors early (from 11am) for pilgrims to come and meet, have a drink or even their famous medieval bacon sandwich (*at a reduced price of £2.25 for the first 20 sandwiches purchased by pilgrims dress in medieval clothing – £4.50 thereafter or anyone not in costume).
Storyteller: Michael Loader.
This year we are very excited to welcome the renowned professional storyteller, Michael Loader, to guide our pageant along the Brislington Brook, from Brislington Village to St Anne’s Well. Michael is the director of Somerset Storyfest, and storyteller-in-residence at St George’s, Bristol, with Wild Words Storytellers. Michael has worked with the BBC, Natural England, Bristol Old Vic, Roald Dahl Museum, Birmingham Symphony Hall, and the BRI Children’s Hospital.
Musicians: the Bygonz.
This year we are very excited to welcome back the fantastic musicians The Bygonz, who entertained pilgrims on the 2016 St Anne’s Day pageant. The Bygonz are Rob and Gillian Guest, who perform on period instruments, including pipes and tabor, English bagpipes, symphonie / hurdy gurdy and medieval percussion, all while dressed in authentic medieval costume.