Despite the rainy weather we had a fantastic Ufton Dole Day last Thursday.
A wonderful tradition dating back to 1581 when Lady Marvyn, who owned Ufton Court, left instructions in her will for a charitable distribution in the form of loaves and cloth to be given to the local residents each year.
Legend has it that Lady Marvyn bequeathed this gift in thanks to the villagers who rescued her when she got lost in the extensive local woods. It is said there is a curse on the landlord who breaks the tradition, whether this is true or not, no landlord has risked it. Every Dole Day, two large loaves of bread and in some cases, towels, are given to each parishioner. In over 400 years the dole has never once failed to be distributed.
To celebrate, we’ve been taking a look back at some photographs from past dole days to compare with the present day…
Residents gather on the back terrace, and bread is given out through the same window in the Great Hall.