History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonTHE WAKES


The Feast Sunday is the Sunday before Old Michaelmas Day. Formerly it was in September, but has been changed to October, so that the feast may be held as near the time of the feast of the Mother Church of Hathersage. In olden times the wakes lasted a week. The people indulged in idleness and extravagance. Before the railways were made the people that had migrated to the towns came back to their native village at the wakes to see relatives and friends, and the family circle was complete. The public-houses were thrown open, and

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the villagers and visitors sat with tankards of ale and talked over the good old days and things that had occurred since they last visited the village. They then visited the Church and other places that reminded them of former days. Sports were indulged in, and the people had a regular “good wakes”. Fights were a very common occurrence, but the rough sports that were indulged in formerly, are now abolished.

A correspondent informs us that a noteworthy antiquary was once on a visit to a relative not far from the Dale Mouth. He was awakened by a great noise, and on opening the window he saw the Dale Bottom was alive with people, interested in bear baiting. About the same time he saw a miller carrying an empty sack, and a sweep with his bag. They were engaged in an encounter, and at the close it was a matter of speculation which was the sweep and which the miller.


OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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