Keeping the tradition of Wroth Silver alive

Ceremony goers enjoying breakfast after Wroth Silver
Ceremony goers enjoying breakfast after Wroth Silver

Dozens of people made their way to Knightlow Hill before sunrise on Tuesday for the annual Wroth Silver ceremony.

Dedicated ceremony-goers made pilgrimage in the dark for what is believed to be one of Britain’s longest running ceremonies, being recorded as ‘ongoing’ in 1086.

The event takes place at the stone, near Ryton, every Martinmas Eve and involves wroth money being collected from the parishes of the Hundred of Knightlow by the Agent to the Duke of Buccleuch.

It was the 77th consecutive year that organiser David Eadon has taken part.

He said: “I am delighted so many people have come to take part in Wroth Silver.

“We have been very lucky with the weather.”

After the ceremony a cooked breakfast and entertainment is enjoyed at The Queens Head in Bretford.

Clay pipes are given to ceremony goers along with rum and warm milk.

The pipes were traditionally smoked on the day until the smoking ban was introduced.

Christopher Sparrow, the Agent for the Duke of Buccleuch, is the Lord of the manor of the Hundred of Knight.

It was his last Wroth Silver and he paid tribute to the Eadon family for their years of commitment to the tradition.

“I will miss taking part in the annual event, which has its own warmth and charm,” he said.

Mr Eadon’s family first became involved in the custom in 1904 when his father heard about it from a school friend.

He said: “They went along and they really enjoyed it, so the next year my father brought his father and we’ve been involved ever since.”

Rugby Mayor Ramesh Srivastava was at the ceremony with the mayoress.

He said: “I’m honoured to be part of Wroth Silver and very proud of the people who keep up the tradition.

“It’s lovely to see young people getting involved.”