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Try maypole dancing at Ilkley Manor House

Ilkley Manor House is once again dusting off its maypole and ribbons, offering everyone the chance to come along and have a go at this traditional folk dance, accompanied by the lively melodies of Geoff Bowen’s fiddle on Saturday 13th May.

The origins of this traditional dance appear to be a mystery: some scholars believe it originated in Roman Britain over 2000 years ago, some state it derives from Germanic pagan customs, whilst many associate it with the Celtic festival of Beltane (celebrating the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice). Regardless of whatever is the real truth of its past, you can now become a part of its rich heritage, whilst hopefully not getting too tangled up in the process.

Alex Cockshott, local historian and Supporter of Ilkley Manor House, says, “If last year is anything to go by, Ilkley Manor House’s maypole celebrations are set to be a truly joyful experience for all the family. We will explain how the dances work and will even slow the pace down so that anyone with aching knees can still join in, walking through the steps rather than skipping, as it can be rather exhausting going at full pelt.”

Maypole dancing will take place in the Ilkley Manor House courtyard on Saturday 13th May between 2pm and 3:30pm, when children can also make a paper flower garland for their hair.

Open weekends 11am until 4pm, why not pop along earlier and explore everything else Ilkley Manor House has to offer, including its current exhibition that delves into the medieval period, permanent heritage displays, and a beautiful art gallery and shop.


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