Woolmer Forest Heritage Society

The feast of St Barnabas and the Woolmer Forest Heritage Society

The Feast of St. Barnabas
Blessing the Bower at Walldown Monument

Gilbert White, in his Natural History of Selborne, mentions a custom which he looked upon to be of "Very remote antiquity".

He said that on two of the most conspicuous eminences in the Royal Forest of Woolmer stood two bowers made of the boughs of oak. One was called Waldon Lodge and the other Brimstone Lodge and the keepers renewed them annually on the Feast of St Barnabas, which was on MidSummer's Day.

When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in 1752, 11 days were 'lost' and the Feast was moved forward. The farm called Blackmoor found the posts and brushwood for Waldon Lodge.

St Barnabas 2021

In 2010 the Woolmer Forest Heritage Society decided to renew this custom by building a bower with the help of Year 3 from Woodlea School. This year (2021) Members of the Society and the Deadwater Valley Trust and guests watched as Rev'd Alice Wood blessed the bower.

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