Video: Annual wassail at the historic Fleece Inn at Bretforton, near Evesham draws records crowds
An ancient tradition to bless the orchards dating from Anglo-Saxon times had a bumper turnout at the National Trust-owned 15th century Fleece Inn at Bretforton last Saturday.
The annual wassail, which takes its name from old English phrase ‘waes hael’ or be well, attracted nearly 100 Morris dancers from across the region as well an audience of around 1000 who layered up against the elements to enjoy the music and merriment washed down with generous amounts of real ale and cider.
After the dance displays, people gathered around the largest tree in The Fleece’s apple orchard where they sang a traditional wassail song. Cider was poured over the roots of the tree to ensure its good health and toast was hung in the branches to attract the good spirits (the robins).