Holcombe Hill Egg Rolling, Lancashire
Every Good Friday crowds gather in the morning at the foot of Holcombe Hill behind the town of Ramsbottom
and the villages of Holcombe Brook and Holcombe. They are there for the morning church service, but more intriguingly many of them, and many more who skip the religious bit, will climb the steep hill for a tradition that dates from time immemorial: egg rolling
. Some say the hill resembles Calvary by way of explaining the reason for the tradition of egg rolling in this particular place. Eggs are for obvious reasons symbols of fertility and the continuation of life, with many cultures adopting them in ceremonies and rituals, the pre-Christian Angles and Saxons
among them. By midday there is always a good crowd atop Holcombe Hill on Good Friday, though the size of the crowd tends to be directly proportional to the warmth of the weather, not always great in one of the wettest parts of Pennine
Lancashire. Boiled eggs, sometimes dyed for the occasion, are rolled from the top of the hill, their progress cheered on in a happily anarchic fashion, those making the best progress without smashing receiving the greatest acclaim. And it’s not just children who do this, though the best part for many of the adults comes later at the bottom of the hill, a visit to the Shoulder of Mutton
or The Hare and Hounds
pubs being as traditional as the egg rolling itself.
More British Folk Customs?
1 Response to Holcombe Hill Egg Rolling
From Maryvonne May on 30th March 2013
60 years since I last did that Good Friday walk with the egg -glad to see people are still doing it.
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