Gracehill village set for return of popular Scarecrow Festival

Shauna Loughran


Shauna Loughran

THE village of Gracehill is delighted to announce that the popular Scarecrow Festival is set to return for the second year.

Plans are currently in place to run the scarecrow festival alongside the Heritage weekend on September 14 and 15, 2019.

As part of the Heritage Open Day, when the very unique buildings in this Moravian Village will be open to the public something very special is happening.

Hidden behind trees, hanging out of windows or peeping from hidden doorways will be a plethora of characters dotted around this very old Village built in the 1700s!

The aim of the Scarecrow Festival is to involve the entire Village and the wider community in a event that is great fun for all, whilst at the same time raising needed funds to help maintain and preserve our historic Church and surrounding grounds for all the community.

Last year was a tremendous success with over 55 groups of scarecrows on display.

If you would like to participate in the festival by entering a scarecrow/s, please collect a registration form from the Church, Old School House or download a copy at the gracehill village website.

Complete the registration form and return it to the Moravian Manse, 25 Church Road, Gracehill or simply email a copy to gracehill.scarecrow@

The scarecrows can be based on any character or theme of your own choice.

The Festival Committee will run a Scarecrow workshop on Tuesday, August 20 from 7pm within Cennick Hall.

The workshop will demonstrate the making of a scarecrow and give an opportunity for everybody at the workshop to get involved in making their own.

There will be plenty of help on the evening to give assistance.

Please consider coming along it is free of charge and should prove to be an informative and entertaining evening.

The Moravian Settlement, now known as Gracehill, was born more than 250 years ago. It was meticulously planned around a perfect square and retains its character today.

The fine original stone buildings, green lanes and orchards, quiet Burial Ground known as God’s Acre, Museum and square with its pond and proud oak trees and unassuming but historically important Church, combine to create a unique and wonderful Village, where all year round, visitors can be seen wandering around learning about the Moravian way of life from the experienced local guides who conduct tours.

Gracehill Village Heritage Open Day

The Heritage Open Day allows visitors the opportunity to wander around the pond, see inside the buildings, including the Church. Also to visit the original Village Store, the beautiful Single Sisters’ House, now a private residence, and the old School House, which now hosts a Museum, complete with the original schoolroom. There is so much to see and learn as you wander at leisure between the avenue of ancient trees in God’s Acre and walk through history as you read the headstones, telling their own stories. As if this is not a memorable enough experience, this year will have another dimension.

Gracehill Village Scarecrow Festival

The Village Church along with the Gracehill Environmental Committee are organising a Scarecrow Festival over the two days, involving the local and wider community in making Scarecrows of all shapes and sizes.

For more than 3,000 years farmers have been making Scarecrows. The first Scarecrows recorded were along the River Nile to protect the fields of wheat from flocks of quail.

The farmers would put wooden frames in the ground and cover them with nets. Scarecrows in one form or another were known to be used in Greek, Roman and Japanese cultures.

In Medieval Britain there were 9 year old boys who patrolled the wheat fields carrying bags of stones to throw at the birds.

There will be lots to see at the Gracehill Village Heritage Open Day & Scarecrow Festival

There will be a map of the Village with an accompanying Trail to help find where these amazing “visitors” will be hiding out!

There will also be an anagram to work out and prizes for the three best Scarecrows as judged by the public.

Teas and delicious homemade cakes will be available to enjoy also.

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