Upfield Field Place Maypole Archway School Anti-Slavery Arch Farmhill Park Farmhill House Puckshole Mill Paganhill Mill
HB Maypole being erected by kind permission of Howard Beard
What: Local landmark and tradition
Where: Paganhill, at junction of Ruscombe Road and Farmhill Lane
Then: Every year, on Whit Monday, Paganhill locals either erected a new Maypole or smartened up the existing one with fresh paint and hung it with garlands. Local children then danced around it in a ceremony with ancient pagan traditions. Although two children were tragically killed in 1804 when a stay rope broke, the tradition continued well in to the 1900's
Now: A 60ft fibreglass pole was erected in 2004

Paul Hawkins Fisher, the Stroud historian, recorded in 1871, that a maypole had existed at Paganhill from time immemorial. Every year, on Whit Monday, the inhabitants either erected a new maypole or smartened up the existing one with fresh paint, and hung it with garlands. Local children then danced around it on the Green (now part of the grounds of Upfield), in a ceremony which has ancient, pagan origins.

On 20 May 1804, there was a tragedy when a stay-rope broke and the maypole fell down, killing two children.

By tradition, the maypole was 84 feet high, but the current one, erected in 2004, is 60ft and made of fibreglass.

The tradition of dancing round the maypole in May was revived in 1999.

The history of the maypole at Paganhill

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society