The Buckley Society Logo

Fiddler at the wedding"

Saint John's United Reformed Church, Buckley





An old Buckley gentleman, long deceased, related to me the practice of employing a musician with a fiddle to head the young couple and then "fiddle them out" as they left the chapel as man and wife. Outside the chapel, known as Keetra's Chapel (Catherall's Chapel), the happy throng gather and extend greetings to the loving couple.





Thomas Cropper in his book on Buckley remembers the tradition of the fiddler leading the Buckley couples to church to their wedding and then leading them out of church. This scene depicts a happy man and wife emerging from the Congregational Church to the jovial fiddling of the "crowther". On the left hand side, the "leek-ness takker", or photographer, records the event.


["Crwth" is Welsh for crowd or violin. See 152.1 for a drawing of the traditional crwth. The instrument played in the picture is more like a fiddle or violin.


The following is quoted from: The Oxford Companion to Music by Percy A. Scholes: OUP, 1944:

CRWTH: An ancient bowed stringed instrument which had a more or less rectangular frame, the lower half of which was filled in as a sound-box, with flat (or occasionally vaulted) back, the upper half being left open on each side of the strings. The strings ran over a bridge - of a peculair kind, since one of its feet passed through a hole in the belly and rested on the back, thus serving as a sound-post.... In the sixth century it seems to have been considered a specifically British instrument, and it lingered longest in the ancient British fastness of Wales, a specimen having been heard at Caernarvon as late as the opening of the nineteenth century. The English name is "Crowd", the Irish "Crot" or "Cruit", the Medieval Latin, "Chorus". Other forms of the word are "Croud", "Crowth", and "Crouth". It is said that in remote parts of Wales a violin is still called a crwth, as in England a fiddler was long called a crowder.... Latterly the misleading name of "Bowed Harp" has been applied to the crwth.]


Author: Bentley, James


Year = 1900

Building = Religious

Event = Wedding

Gender = Mixed

People = Group

Extra = Music

Extra = Visual Arts

Copyright © 2015 The Buckley Society