Updated 21 Nov 2007
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
The Bull Ring, Snitterton.
At Snitterton, an iron ring set in a stone block is believed to
be a bull ring. It dates from the time when bulls were tethered
and attacked by bulldogs for the amusement of their owners.
This usually took place at Wakes Week.
Julie Bunting writes:
A chain and swivel secured in a thick iron ring tethered the bull,
frequently already enraged by having had pepper blown into his nostrils
before the dogs were set on to him. These were trained to pin the bull
by its sensitive nose, an agony often prolonged by allowing the beast
to hide its snout from time to time in a purpose-made hole in the ground.
The dogs were at little risk for the bull's horns had been tipped with
That of Snitterton lies at road level near the junction to Snitterton
Hall. It was preserved by Derbyshire Archaeological Society in 1906,
when one old villager recalled being told by his father how in the
evenings men from Winster, Wensley and other villages would often
bring their bulldogs to be tried against the bull at Snitterton. The
village formerly lay on the busy Nottingham to Newhaven turnpike and,
once upon a time, had three pubs. The Snitterton bull ring was so worn
by the last century that a new one was laid, its staple set into a
stone 2' wide and 7' deep - which it took four horses to pull - which
was sunk 2' into the ground.
Julie Bunting, Peak Advertiser, 14 Sep 1998
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