Possibly imported from Northern Europe (Moorish Dancing) Morris Dancing has become a quintessentially English tradition, with much of its iconography rooted in history. Since the Middle Ages, men have celebrated and ushered in the Spring to the rhythmic sound of drums and hand-held musical instruments. Some dances re-enact battle scenes with sticks replacing swords. In the year 1600 the Shakespearean actor William Kemp morris danced from London to Norwich. There are many different styles of Morris Dancing, for example it is thought black painted faces are from the Welsh Border while dancers from the North West often wear clogs.
Wessex Folk Festival plays host to many sides of Morris Dancers who put on their entertaining (and sometimes a little scary) displays along Weymouth Harbour all day on Saturday and Sunday. See left for the teams who will be entertaining you at the 2015 festival. (This page will be updated on a regular basis)
For Morris Dancing related enquiries please contact Chris on the contact form below
Morris Dancing Teams booked for the 2019 Wessex Folk Festival
is a clog and step dance group. We were established in 1982, to perform at folk festivals in the UK and abroad. You will also find us with other dance sides outside pubs, on village greens or in village halls all over the country.
We perform clog routines from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, with stepping or step dances from the Isle of Man, Quebec and Cape Breton.
The Bourne River Morris Men
We are based in and around Bournemouth in Dorset, and in the summer months we visit and perform at a number of local hostelries (especially those purveyors of good ales) most Thursday evenings and many weekend events.
Some photos of our first ever performance in November 1967 can be found on the archives (http://www.brmm.org.uk/photos/archives_1.htm#nov67) page.
Cornucopia are an Appalachian Dance Group performing to a variety of American, Irish and British Folk music. They are based in Grove, Oxfordshire. The dance becomes part of the music as the sound of the dancer's feet creates a driving rhythmic background to the old-time American tunes. They were filmed with Ellie Harrison for Country Tracks in 2010 at The King Alfred's Head in Wantage and perform at a number of Folk Festivals throughout the summer.
Dr Turberville’s Morris is a mixed (Women and Men) Morris Dance side from the Somerton area.
We dance English Cotswold Morris dances from some of the villages and some of our own devising. We also dance some Border Morris dances, including some from Dartmoor, Shropshire and a few other areas.
During the Summer months we can be seen dancing most Tuesday evenings somewhere in South Somerset and North and West Dorset, sometimes even Devon, often at friendly local pubs, and we are liable to appear at events such as fêtes and fairs, where we can be recognised by our costume of white, with green and maroon baldrics and ribbons. We can also be seen at Folk Festivals and Morris gatherings elsewhere in the UK and (very occasionally!) even further afield.
During the Winter months we practise our existing dances, learn new dances, and teach new members at our base at Lydford on Fosse near Somerton in Somerset.
New Members always welcome to play music or dance.
Enigma are a border morris side from South Petherton in Somerset formed in 2014 & loving it!
Practices are on Monday evenings 8-10pm from September – April, at South Petherton Methodist Hall. We always welcome new members, both dancers & musicians.
Contact [email protected]
are a Federation mixed Cotswold side based at the Old Village Hall Upwey, nr Weymouth. Upwey is the village represented in Hardy's "The Trumpest Major" where the farmer Festus Derriman features. FD's spring colours and joyful interpretation of dances have made us and integral part of many local fayres and village fetes.
Glastonbury Border Morris are an all inclusive side of eclectic characters, ranging in age all the way up to dancers in their 70's! They have been going for nearly 4 years now, but have only had a real core group for the last 2 years. Although they are a relatively new side, that doesn't stop them being full of passion and enthusiasm, and are part of nearly every local celebration in the Glastonbury area.
Hobos Morris is a female border morris side, formed in 1993 and based in Poole, Dorset.
Our first season, in 1994, coincided with the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. Major-General Percy Hobart of the 79th Armoured Division, produced and commanded the unusual tanks needed for the Normandy beach landings - affectionately known as Hobos Funnies! Their regimental colours were red, black and mustard, and their emblem the Raging Bull. The name provided us with our colours, badges and a bit of history. Perfect.
Newton Bushel Morris
The much acclaimed Newton Bushel Morris are a mixed traditional Cotswold side formed in 1972. We dance around the Torquay, Newton Abbot and South East Dartmoor areas of Devon. Following the usual Morris pattern we dance out on Thursday nights between May and September and practice during the winter months in Kingskerswell. Add in the usual mix of festivals, weddings and charity gigs and you have the busy side that is Newton Bushel!
No Mean Feet
maintain a lively traditional style, with brightly coloured costumes and hard soled shoes with taps which emphasize the percussive element of Appalachian dance. We perform individual freestyling as well as precision team routines — accompanied by “Old Time” live music.
We're based in sunny Bracknell and we do Border Morris tolerably well.
If you're passing, say hello, or if you're a musician, come and join in with a tune.
Sarum Morris was formed in 1982. We are named after Sarum the Roman settlement which, through the centuries, has grown and evolved into the present day beautiful City of Salisbury.
Sarum Morris is a mixed Cotswold Morris side comprising of both men and women dancers and musicians. The dances that we perform are from the Cotswold villages of Bampton, in Oxfordshire, Ilmington in Warwickshire and Oddington in Gloucestershire, as performed and collected over 100 years ago. During the spring and summer we dance out at folk festivals, country fairs, village fetes, local pubs, Morris ale weekends and days of dance in and around Salisbury and a little further a field in Southern England.
Sweet Rapper – Ladies Rapper side
Formed in November 2004 from members of various morris sides we started practise with borrowed swords and help from Dorset Button Rapper. We studied videos, watched other rapper sides and attended a couple of workshops, hence our rather unique style.
Our musician, Katrina, wrote our music and plays for us on the fiddle.
Over the years we have lost and gained members and we are always looking for new recruits.
We practise fortnightly during the winter on a Tuesday evening in the Fordingbridge area.
Should anyone be interested in joining us please contact Ursula on [email protected] .
Treacle Eater Clog
Treacle Eater Clog was formed in 1983. Our dances have their roots in the industrial north-west of England, where dancers wearing brightly coloured costumes and, often, decorated clogs, were (and still are) a feature of carnivals and similar processions.
Our name comes from the folly in Barwick Park, just South of Yeovil, called Jack the Treacle Eater. Jack is reputed to have been a messenger employed at the house, who ran errands, even as far as London, sustained on black treacle.
We enjoy our dancing and Wessex are a friendly, sociable, energetic team. Morris provides us with exercise, fun and a great social life. We always welcome men who want to learn Morris dancing.
Our practice sessions are held Mondays, September to April, 8pm-10pm, at Pulham village hall in Dorset, postcode DT2 7DZ.
was formed in 1977 and is based in Harrow, Middlesex. The side performs dances from the north west of England. The kit is a vibrant red, blue and white combination with hand made wooden clogs. Whitethorn has performed at many folk festivals and events countrywide, including Sidmouth, Whitby, Wimborne, Chippenham and in 2000 danced at the Millennium Dome. Overseas visits have been made to Europeade at Quimper in Brittany and at Prague Folklore Days Festival in the Czech Republic. In 2017 we celebrated our 40th birthday with a Day of Dance attended by 15 other sides.
Fabulous hand made natural felt hats and accessories
Dragonfly of Totnes
French Crepes of Brittany
Freshly made while you wait
Magnetic Healing Bracelets
Visit our stall at Wessex Folk Festival
The perfect gift for your loved ones or yourself!
Gourmet Burgers available from our stall at Wessex Folk Festival.
Get your laughing gear round that!