When: 17th June 2013
Where: Seething Lane to Mansion House, London
What is it?
The Knollys Rose Ceremony is one of those quirks of British traditions which always fascinates Contrary Life. The ceremony is held annually in June and begins with a rose being plucked from the garden in Seething Lane in London. The rose is then placed on an altar cushion and taken to Mansion House where it is presented to the Mayor.
But why you ask? The Knollys Rose Ceremony commemorates an ancient City judgement which dates back to 1381 when Sir Robert Knollys wife bought a property opposite their house and turned it into a rose garden. She then built a bridge across Seething Lane to avoid the muddy conditions. Unfortunately she didn’t have the correct planning permission so as a penalty she had to pay with a rose from the garden each year. The rose was to be presented to the then Mayor. As Sir Robert was a respected man the rose was merely a token payment. The bridge has long since disappeared but the ceremony still takes place today.