About Kirtlington Morris

Recent History

The Kirtlington tradition of Cotswold Morris Dancing was reconstructed by Paul Davenport and handed over to the village of Kirtlington in 1979, when the present Morris side was formed, aided by Len and Barbara Berry and the Kirtlington Scouts, and abetted by Tim Radford of Adderbury.

The Dances were based on information gathered by Cecil Sharp and George Butterworth at the beginning of the 20C. Some new tunes were written by Barbara Berry.

Our repertoire of dances has grown gradually over the years to include a variety of handkerchief and stick dances as well as two solo jigs. The names of the dances are often based on special features or characters of the village.

Distinctive elements of the Kirtlington dances include the characteristically upright and angular “hockleback” which starts each dance and the famous “hey” which is danced backwards.

Reports of the annual Kirtlington Lamb Ale feast record dress details of the Morris Men and mention in particular the Dashwood family racing colours of blue and pink.

Early History

Morris Dancing in the Oxfordshire village of Kirtlington has a long history. The earliest written reference is found in a report of the Lamb Ale feast in 1679 when Morris Men took a leading part in the celebrations.
Another reference was noted in Sir George Dashwood’s accounts of 1732 when he paid the sum of “Five shillings to Kertling Morris” at the time of the annual feast.