Sudbury wasn’t a stranger to Morris dancing; there were dancers for every occasion. Solstices grew the biggest crowds, but they also appeared at markets, fetes, at Christmas and New Year’s.

But there was one dance, performed each year in late autumn, that wasn’t for the crowds.

The dancers would line up at night four miles out of the village, on the border of Dimwell forest, and there they would dance. Not with their usual sticks and bells, but with iron swords. It was a dance to keep the forest at bay, and to remind the forest dwellers of the Arrangement.

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