Plough Monday In Fowler’s ‘History of Gamlingay’ he recorded several unusual local practices. Plough Monday was similar to the type of dressing up at Halloween or what is now “Trick or Treat.” He stated that “plough witches” or “bullocks” went round the parish with their faces "riddled." One of the party was dressed as a female and everyone was covered with ribbons and shreds of finery. They would threaten to plough up the lawn of anyone who refused to give them a treat.


Pancake Tuesday Another local custom was on Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday) when the pancake bell was rung at noon. Flour or pancake money was given to the poorest women in the parish to enable them to provide children with the traditional treat. Palm Sunday used to be called Fig Sunday, when both rich and poor indulged in fruit. On Easter Sunday everyone used to wear new clothes for the day. Even the poorest would buy new gloves to  put on. “But these with many precious rites and customs of our rural ancestry are gone, or stealing from us.”  (Fowler, p.12)


Back to Home Page