Country Standard - The Progressive Journal for Rural Communities since 1935.
"Sharpen the sickle !
The fields are white;
'Tis the time of the harvest at last"
Saturday, 26 December 2020
PLOUGH MONDAY - (first Monday after the feast of the Epiphany)
Plough Monday - 11th January 2021
Held on the first Monday after the feast of the Epiphany
The day traditionally saw the resumption of agricultural work after the Christmas period in Northern Counties and the East of England
A light was kept burning in the local church before the image of a saint that was known as the plough light.
Yarmouth Independent - 11 January 1936 states
"This festival developed directly from the institution of the Plough Lights. In the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries almost every parish church possessed its plough, before which a light burnt.
Several villages had more than one plough light. For example, the Norfolk parish of Salle maintained four, additional to the church light.
These lights were placed where men could salute them as they passed on their way to work in the fields."
An inscription on the Ringers’ Gallery at Cawston Church gives evidence of the Importance of these lights.
It reads :
God spede the plow
And send us all corne enow
Our purpose for to mak
At crow of cok
Of the plwlete of Sygate
Be mery and glade
Wat Goodale this work made
In Dorchester, Fred James, Agricultural Workers Union organiser and Mayor of the town from 1934 to 1936, had decided that Plough Monday was a festival worth reviving because it marked the beginning of the farming year. He said, ‘When we cease to recognise the importance of the plough, it will be a bad day for this country.