Goathland

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The Goathland Plough Stots are a traditional Long Sword Dance team located in the small moorland village of Goathland set in the North York Moors National Park located some nine miles east of Whitby.

Regarded as having one of the oldest surviving long sword dance tradition in Britain, the team was revived in 1921 by Francis Wrightson Dowson, a schoolteacher, born in the village at New Wath who counted Cecil Sharp amongst his many friends. The social changes within the village as it became a tourist resort and internal conflict within the meant that it had ceased dancing in 1888, thanks to the efforts of Frank Dowson the team has flourished ever since.

There are five, six-man circular dances and one eight-man dance, referred to as No Mans Jig, all of which culminate in a sword lock held aloft by the King. The dancers wear equal numbers of pink and blue tunics with white cuffs and collars set about with a white sash taken from the political colours of the Whigs and Tories; the trousers are grey with a red stripe down the leg, a reference to the Crimean War and black shoes, the musicians tunics are half pink and half blue.

Each year is commenced with the Annual Blessing of the Plough Service in St. Marys Church, a service held on the first Sunday after twelfth night, which moves to the next Sunday if twelfth night is a Sunday. The Day of Dance on the following Saturday is when teams travel around the Parish dancing and collecting with the final dance outside the Birch Hall Inn Beckhole late in the day which finishes with the Annual Plough Stot Rosh or Dinner of Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings held in one of the local hostelries.

The team regularly performs at Folk Festivals and other events both within the UK and abroad.