Maidens' Garlands

Researched by Rosie Morris


Born in Minsterley, Shropshire, England in the mid 1950's, I attended Sunday School at Holy Trinity.I used to gaze up and wonder about the seven strange looking objects that were stored in plastic bags,suspended from iron hooks. Very little information was known about these Maidens  Garlands.My enquiring mind and passion for history led me to complete my first degree with the University of Birmingham ( BA Hons ) in 2001. My chosen topic for dissertsation was " The History and Development of Maidens Garlands within the context of English Funeral Practice c.1600-1973".  This led to an article published in Folklore December 2003, "The 'inocent and touching ' custom of Maidens' Garlands: A Field Report." The wealth of material generated and unanswered questions  led me to begin my Phd ( Sept 2009). My title of research being " Death of the Maiden: A study of the funeral custom of the Maidens' Garland in England between 1500-1973 with special reference to the European context".

My methodology will incorporate: field trips to locations where garlands are known to exist, in order to study their patronal  festivals and patronages; and to explore their architectural and social history, together with relevant parish records.  Forensic evidence will also be considered, as too any oral testimonies that will substantiate documented evidence.

I am looking for anyone with any knowledge of this funeral custom, either English or European (especially French locations of Montsoreau, Nr Saumur or La Malene Nr River Tarn ) who may have access to letters, diaries, wills or travelogs in an effort to find clearer answers.

Pleae take a look at my website for further details

I would value any comments you may have.

Please use the "Contact me" page to provide me with any information which you may have.