St Neot Local Historians

Dancing on Apple Oak day, photographed by Nigel Yeo

Heritage Grants

Cornwall, South West
St Neot Local Historians
A 350-year-old community celebration was documented in full detail to provide a greater understanding of the event’s history, and preserve the tradition for future generations.

St Neot’s is one of the few communities in the country that still celebrates Oak Apple Day at the end of May each year. The national holiday was instituted in 1660 to commemorate the future Charles II of England escaping the Roundhead army by hiding in an oak tree.

In advance of the 2013 event, community organisations were provided with equipment to record their activities in the months leading up to Oak Apple Day. Personal recollections of past Oak Apple Days were also collected.

On the day of the celebration, a particular focus was given to exploring what life was like in 1660, and activities were held specifically for children around food and music.

All the information gathered was displayed in a public exhibition, and then preserved in physical and digital format in the parish archive.

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