Summerpole

Summerpole

Pilgrim Morris welcome in the summer in style

Guildford’s Summer Games are first recorded in the early 16th Century and the record of the Court Leet held at the Guildhall in 1611 refers to ‘the Sommer Pole beinge found by his longe standinge over againste the parish church of St Mary in Guldeforde

The festival is celebrated by a procession led by the Summer Court to Abbot’s Hospital at the top of the High Street where, at the behest of the Summer Court, games in the form of Morris dancing are provided for the entertainment of the Court and assembled multitudes. The Summerpole is then borne to the castle green and erected where there is more dancing and merriment until the Court retires for lunch.  A second session in the afternoon concludes with the Summerpole being taken down for another year.

The Summerpole Procession consists of:

Sword Bearer:  to clear the way
The Summer Court: The Queen (and/or King), Princes, Princesses;
Barker: loitering alongside with his fertility cake;
The Garland: a wreath of spring shoots to welcome the summer;
The Summerpole: borne in procession by Guildford’s own Pilgrim Morris Men;
The Entertainment: Pilgrim Morris Men and their invited guests;
Jack in the Green: somewhere within all this. Too old to describe!

Summerpole 2022

Founded in 1972, Pilgrim Morris celebrate their 50th anniversary year in 2022. We look forward to welcoming our guests Ewell St. Mary, Jackstraws, Fleur de Lys and Mayflower Morris sides together with members of the Taborers Society. All the fun begins at the bottom of the High Street at 10:30 A.M. – come and enjoy the spectacle.