‘Ancient Men’ Morris Dancers tour Cornwall, 25th – 27th July 2019

AM Cornwall banner 1The Ancient Men (“Not all Ancient, and not all Men”) are a group of travelling Morris dancers who gather together each summer to tour towns and villages in a chosen area.

This Summer, we will be touring Cornwall to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first tour made by Oxford University Men’s Morris in 1929.

Ancient Men in Cornwall

AM trefusis
Oxford Morris at Trefusis, July 1929. Back row ( L to R) – Bill Picton, Herbert Thomas, Gordon Etherington. Front row (L to R) – Francis Tabor, Charles Bardswell, Colonel Trefusis, Henry Trefusis, Reggie Batchelor

In 1929 a small group of Cotswold Morris dancers from Oxford University, including Henry Trefusis of Trefusis, Flushing, made Cornwall the scene of their first ever dance tour outside Oxfordshire.

This group eventually became the Oxford University Morris Men, who on tour are known as The Ancient Men.

The Ancient Men have been touring every summer since 1952, and we returned to Cornwall in 1970 and 1979.

This year to mark the 90th anniversary year of the original tour, The Ancient Men will be re-visiting Cornwall during the last week of July 2019, and returning to dance at some of the venues of 1929 and 1979.

Itinerary of Public Performances, 25th – 27th July 2019

Thursday 25th July
12:15   Marazion, The Station House
15:00   St Ives, The Island
15:45   St Ives, West Pier/RNLI
18:00   Scorrier (Redruth), The Fox and Hounds
19:30   Devoran, The Old Quay Inn
Friday 26th July
11:00   Helford Passage, Ferry Boat Inn
12:30   Helford, The Shipwright’s Arms
15:00   Helford Passage, The Amphitheatre – Trebah Gardens
17:30   Mawnan Smith, The Red Lion
18:30   Penryn, The Famous Barrel
19:30   Restringuet Point, The Pandora Inn
Saturday 27th July
10:30      Flushing, The Seven Stars
12:15      St.Mawes, The Square
12:45      St.Mawes, The Quay
14:45      Trelissick, Trelissick Gardens (NT)
From 17:30 to 19:30  Flushing Carnival

AM Cornwall 2019 poster-shrunk.png

OUMM Summer Dancing 2019

Oxford University Morris Men’s summer dance-out calendar for 2019, in combination with Oxford City Morris Men,  is (provisionally) as follows – although please check our Facebook page for confirmation on the day in case of last-minute changes if you are planning to come and see us!

Wednesday 8th of May – 7:30pm at the Royal Blenheim, 8:30pm at The Bear

Wednesday 15th of May – 7:30pm at The Rusty Bicycle, Magdalen Rd, 8:30pm at The Fir Tree, Iffley Rd

Monday 20th of May –  8:00pm at The Victoria Arms, Old Marston with Masons Apron, Abingdon Traditional Morris Dances and The Vale Islanders

Wednesday 29th of May – 7:30pm The Old Bookbinders, 8:30pm at The Harcourt Arms, Jericho

Wednesday 5th June – 7:30pm The Cape of Good Hope, 8:30pm The Angel & Greyhound, St Clements

Saturday 8th June – 12:00 Jericho Street Fair

Wednesday 12th June – 7:30pm The White Horse, 8:30pm, The Kings Arms, Broad Street

Wednesday 19th JuneThe Eagle & Child, St Giles, 8:30pm, The Gardeners Arms, Plantation Road

Wednesday 26th June – 8:00pm, The Isis Farmhouse as guests of Towersey Morris Men

Wednesday 3rd July – 7:30pm, The Gardener’s Arms, North Parade, 8:30pm, The Rose & Crown, North Parade, Summertown

Wednesday 10th July – 7:30pm, The Punter, Osney, 8:30pm The Perch, Binsey

Wednesday 17th July – 7:30pm, Lamb and Flag, St Giles, 8:30pm, Royal Oak, Woodstock Road

‘Ancient Men’ morris dancers tour West Cork and South Kerry, 9th – 14th July 2018


The Ancient Men are a group of travelling Morris dancers who gather together during the summer to tour towns and villages in a chosen area. Our traditional dances come from the villages of the Cotswold Hills in southern England, and have an antiquity stretching back hundreds of years.

Traditionally, we do a public performance in a town or village before moving on to the next location. Our performance is guaranteed to bring good luck, fine weather and fertility. Do come and see us if you can.

As Ancient upholders of the traditional dances of old England, we are delighted to be visiting West Cork and South Kerry. We have toured in Ireland previously – in Kilkenny and West Cork in 1990, in Bréifne (Sligo and Leitrim) in 2007, and in West Clare in 2015.

From our base near Bantry, our 2018 tour of West Cork and South Kerry takes us up to Kenmare, through the Beara and Sheep’s Head peninsulas, and then down to Baltimore and Sherkin Island, as well as to several inland locations.

And at the end of a busy and strenuous day, don’t be surprised to see us retiring to the nearest bar for a well-earned drink, along with some music and song. You are very welcome to join us!

Itinerary of public performances

Monday 9 July

1230 Kenmare, the Square
1800 Kilgarvan, Jackie Healy Rae Bar
1930 Top of Coom, Top of Coom Bar
2100 Inchigeelagh, Creedon’s Hotel

Tuesday 10 July

1200 Ballylickey, Ouvane Falls Inn
1300 Bantry, Wolfe Tone Square
1800 Kilcrohane, Eileen’s Bar
1930 Ahakista, Tin Pub
2100 Bantry, Wolfe Tone Square

Wednesday 11 July

1230 Ballyvourney, Mills Inn
1830 Ballingeary, Shortens Bar
1930 Gougane Barra, Hotel
2100 Kealkill, Collins Bar

Thursday 12 July

1200 Ardgroom, Village Inn
1330 Kilmackillogue Harbour, Teddy O’Sullivan’s/Helen’s Bar
1800 Eyeries, Causkey’s Bar
1930 Castletownbere, O’Donoghue’s Bar
2100 Glengarriff, Blue Loo

Friday 13 July

1230 Durrus, Long Boat Bar
1330 Ballydehob, Levis Corner House
2000 Baltimore, Bushes Bar

Saturday 14 July

1200 Leap, Connolly’s of Leap
1300 Glandore Terrace, Hayes Bar & Kitchen
1600 Castletownshend, Lill McCarthy’s
1930 Sherkin Island, Jolly Roger

About Morris Dancing

Ancient Men dance on Symonds Yat rock on their 2016 Wye Valley Canoe tour. Photo by Chris Sheffield.

No one can be sure of how, when and where Morris dancing originated. It was known in England as far back as the 15th century and in those times would have been familiar in villages throughout the country, danced on special occasions by selected members of the community. Each village had its own dances and style of performing them.

By the 19th century Morris dancing had nearly died out, but in 1899 folklore collector Cecil Sharp, inspired by a chance meeting with a team of Morris dancers in the village of Headington in Oxfordshire, started to note down the dances and the tunes that accompany them. This formed the basis for a revival of interest in the tradition and probably saved Morris dancing from extinction. There are now many teams in England and other parts of the world who regularly perform these dances.

More about the Ancient Men

The Ancient Men can trace their history back to the early years of the 20th century, making them one of the oldest revival teams in England. Since their first tour, in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in 1952, the Ancient Men have made over 100 tours, not just in England but in many other parts of the world, including the United States, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Japan, Italy and Russia. Although the members of our group have become globally scattered over the years – some of the dancers you see have flown in from Kenya, the United States and New Zealand – we still enjoy getting together each year and renewing old friendships.

OUMM Summer Dancing 2018

OUMM bridge of sighs
OUMM and OCMM dancing in Oxford during Bonn week, Summer 2017

Oxford University Morris Men’s summer dance-out calendar for 2018, in combination with Oxford City Morris Men,  is (provisionally) as follows – although please check our Facebook page for confirmation on the day in case of last-minute changes if you are planning to come and see us!

Wednesday 9th of May – 7:30pm at the Royal Blenheim, 8:30pm at the Bear

Wednesday 23rd of May – 7:30pm at the Red Lion, Old Marston, 8:30pm at the Victoria Arms, Marston

Wednesday 30th of May – 7:30pm at the Old Bookbinders, Jericho, 8:30pm at the Harcourt Arms, Jericho

Thursday 7th June – The Tap Social Movement, North Hinksey Lane – with Old Speckled Hen

Wednesday 13th of June – 7:30pm at the White Horse, 8:30pm at the Kings Arms

Wednesday 20th of June – 7:30pm at the Eagle & Child, and 8:30pm at the Gardeners Arms on Plantation Road

Wednesday 27th of June – 7:30pm at the Gardeners Arms (North Parade), and 8:30pm at the Rose & Crown

Wednesday 4th of July – 7:30pm at the Head of the River, 8:30pm at the Crown on Cornmarket

8th – 15th of July – Ancient Men on tour in West Cork & Kerry

Wednesday 11th of July – 7:30pm at thePerch, Binsey

Wednesday 18th of July – 7:30pm at the Lamb & Flag, 8:30pm at the Royal Oak

Wednesday 25th of July – 7:30pm at the Isis, Iffley, 8:30pm at the Prince of Wales, Iffley


‘Ancient Men’ morris dancers tour North Somerset, 24th-29th July

Ancient Men on tour in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in 2002

Our touring alter-egos the Ancient Men are delighted to be visiting North Somerset this Summer.

We have toured in Somerset twice before – first in 1965, and more recently in 1979.

We look forward to experiencing the dramatic scenery of the Mendip hills, absorbing the mystical atmosphere of ancient monuments, visiting the many historic towns and villages – and of course, appreciating the local cider.

Wye Symonds Yat 1
Ancient Men at Symonds Yat during the 2016 Wye Valley tour

From our base near Wrington, our tour takes us from Wells and Glastonbury in the South, to the cities of Bristol and Bath in the North.

There’s also a facebook event for the tour here, which you are welcome to join, and to share with anyone who may be interested.



Itinerary of Public Performances

Monday 24 July

11:30 Rodney Stoke Inn, Rodney Stoke
12:30 Riverside Inn, Cheddar
13:30 White Hart, Cheddar
18:30 Lamb Inn, Axbridge
19:30 New Inn, Cross
20:30 Railway Inn, Sandford

Tuesday 25 July

12:00 Jubilee Inn, Flax Bourton
13:00 Black Horse, Clapton in Gordano
18:15 Moon and Sixpence, Clevedon
19:30 Railway Inn, Yatton
20:30 White Hart, Wrington

Wednesday 26 July

11:30 Wookey Hole Inn, Wookey (TBC)
12:30 Full Moon, Wells
13:30 Wells Marketplace
18:30 Churchill Inn, Churchill
19:30 Plume of Feathers, Rickford
20:30 Plough Inn, Wrington

Thursday 27 July

12:20 Bathampton Mill, Bathampton
14:15 Bath (Kingston Parade)
17:00 Bath (Terrace Walk)
18:30 Compton Inn, Compton Dando
20:30 Prince of Waterloo, Winford

Friday 28 July

11:00 Swan Inn, Wedmore
12:30 Glastonbury Marketplace
13:30 King Arthur, Glastonbury
18:00 Sheppey Inn, Godney
19:15 Queen Victoria, Priddy
20:30 Swan Inn, Rowberrow

Saturday 29 July

12:30 The Apple (cider boat), Bristol
Afternoon: harbourside area
17:30 The Ashton, Long Ashton
18:30 Fox & Goose, Barrow Gurney
19:30 New Inn, Blagdon

OUMM at Folk Weekend Oxford

Impromptu music in the King's Arms
Impromptu music in the King’s Arms, featuring rubber-chicken-as-musical-instrument.

Folk Weekend Oxford usually marks the unofficial beginning of our dancing out season, coming a week or two before our official start on May Morning.

This year we were scheduled to dance on the Saturday, with stands on Broad Street at 10am (alongside Mr Wilkins’ Shilling and the very impressive Winchester Morris), and outside the Pitt Rivers at 12:30pm (with Whitethorn Morris and our local friends Cry Havoc) – and we even managed to fit in a sneaky music session in the King’s Arms in between.

One of our fans* has taken some very nice high-quality video of our performances at Folk Weekend. The 1080p-60fps setting really does us justice.

(It also gives the Squire plenty of opportunity to see who needs extra practice!)

*press-ganged morris partner

Ancient Mummers tour Jericho

’twas the Saturday before Christmas Eve, and so The Ancient Mummers performed the Holton Play in these pubs of Jericho, Oxford:

7:15pm The Gardener’s Arms
7:45pm The Harcourt Arms,
8:15pm Old Bookbinders,
9:00pm Rickety Press,
9:30pm The Victoria,
10:00pm The Gardener’s Arms (reprise)

It was a splendid evening and the generosity of our audiences has resulted in a collection of over £300 for Helen & Douglas House, the Oxford children’s charity. Many thanks to the publicans and customers. Merry Christmas!