Abbots Bromley, horn dance - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is an English folk dance dating back to the Middle Ages. The dance takes place each year in Abbots Bromley. The modern version of the dance involves reindeer antlers, a hobby horse, Maid Marian, and a Fool.
There are no recorded references to the horn dance prior to Robert Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire, written in 1686. However, there is a record of the hobby horse being used in Abbots Bromley as early as 1532.
Such an ancient origin for the dance has been doubted by some folklorists, who point out that while the reindeer antlers date to the 11th century, reindeer were long since extinct in England and Wales (and probably Scotland), and there is no evidence that any domestic reindeer herds remained at that time. Therefore, even more confusingly, the antlers must have been imported from Scandinavia at some point between the 11th and 17th centuries.
The dance was, like similar events throughout the country, temporarily discontinued during the Commonwealth years.