FAQs ~ Frequently Asked Questions    
    To get your answer, just click on the question.
  1. Who is the 'Earl of 'Rone'?
  2. When do you do it each year?
  3. Who's allowed to join in?
  4. What can I wear ?
  5. Why do you walk past Lynton Cottage in silence?

Who is the 'Earl of 'Rone'?

History suggests that he was Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone (1550-1616). O'Neill was the chief of the O'Neill clan in Tyrone at the time of Elizabeth I.  He lived at the cusp of change between the old Celtic clan system and the aristocratic overlordship of the English system.  He and Rory O'Donnell (The Earl of Tyrcommel), together with their families and retainers, finally fled from Ireland in 1607 in what became known as The Flight of the Earls.
 
Some more detailed information about Hugh O'Neill can be found in the book about the custom HERE
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When do you do it each year?

The custom takes place over the four days of the May Bank Holiday Weekend which includes the May Bank Holiday Monday at the END of May. The itinerary can be found HERE

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Who's allowed to join in?

Traditionally, anyone over the age of fourteen, who lives in the parish of Combe Martin (or who were born & schooled there) or the surrounding parishes, which are Berrynarbor, Kentisbury and Trentishoe,  have a right to dress up and join in as members of The Senior Party. The same applies to children up to seventeen who live in the parishes, who join the Junior Party on the Saturday. Also in the Senior Party are a few individuals from foreign parts who were involved in bringing the custom back to the village from 1970 onwards, together with their children and, in some cases, grandchildren. A few others have formally been invited, by the Earl of Rone Council, to join the Senior Party because of services rendered to the custom over many years. Visitors are also welcome to come to watch and enjoy the festivities but, as tradition demands, collections are made throughout the weekend and once costs have been covered, surplus money is donated to good causes in the village.

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What can I wear?

The costume, as it has evolved, is vaguely ‘19th Century peasant’! Here are some guidelines on how to look like you fit in, but there are no absolute ‘rules’. Have a browse through the photographs for further ideas.
 
WOMEN/GIRLS:
Long skirt. Apron. Blouse. Shawl. Just leggings look out of place!
Footwear: anything except trainers, crocs or wellies really.
Headwear: mob-cap, bonnet, or nothing.  Flower garlands only on Monday evening.
Overwear: a cloak or shawl for warmth. Clear plastic capes keep you dry without spoiling the look, but modern raincoats just look like what they are!
Backpacks are detested – bum-bags can at least be hidden under an apron at the front (if you don't mind looking pregnant) or at the back under a shawl tied at the waist (even if it does look like a bustle).
 
MEN/BOYS:
Open necked plain shirt - collar-less if possible, or a smock! Waistcoats are often worn and can help to keep you warmer. Neckerchief.
Trousers: Preferably not jeans. Corduroys look good. Knee-britches if you really want to look the part.
Footwear: anything except trainers, crocs or wellies really.
Headwear: flat cap, bowler, top hat or even nothing. Baseball caps and hoodies do not look good.
Overwear: Clear plastic capes keep you dry without spoiling the look, but modern raincoats just look like what they are! Puffer or bomber jackets look ridiculous in this context, as do many modern raincoats.
 
The sort of costume that is preferred can be seen in the gallery of photographs HERE
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Why do you walk past Lynton Cottage in silence?

The Hunting of the Earl of Rone was banned after 1837.  One of the contributing factors was the death of one of the participants who reportedly fell from the steps of Lynton Cottage and broke his neck.  The modern procession passes Lynton Cottage in silence as a memorial.

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Copyright © Earl of Rone Council. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/05/2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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