The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

I took a stroll down to the village church today and found a fascinating set of reindeer antlers mounted on the wall inside. These are used for the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance which is danced in the village on the first Monday after the 4th September each year. It is danced by a team of 12 men, six of whom wear the antlers. The other six include a Maid Marion, a jester, a boy with a crossbow and two musicians, one of whom plays concertina and the other a triangle. The earliest account of the dance is from 1686 but the historical origins of the dance are unknown. The sets of horns in the church are thought to be from around the 16th century. The largest are 39 inches from tip to tip and weigh over 25 pounds. They are so highly prized that they are not permitted beyond the parish boundaries.

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