The Horn Dance


The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is reputed to be the oldest traditional Dance in the country.

The "horns" are six sets of reindeer antlers, three white and three black. In 1976, a small splinter was radiocarbon dated to around 1065.

There are 12 dancers. Six carry the horns and they are accompanied by a musician playing an accordion (a violin in former times), Maid Marian (a man in a dress), the Hobby-horse, the Fool (or Jester), a youngster with a bow and arrow, and another youngster with a triangle. Traditionally, the dancers are all male, although in recent years girls have been seen carrying the triangle and bow and arrow.

The dance starts at 08:00 with a service of blessing in St Nicholas Church, where the horns are housed. The dance begins on the village green, then passes out of the village - but not out of the parish - to Blithfield Hall, owned by Lady Bagot.

The dancers return to the village in the early afternoon, and make their way around the pubs and houses. Finally, at about 20:00, the horns are returned to the church, and the day is concluded with a service of Compline.