When: 22nd – 25th May 2015
Where: Combe Martin, Devon
£: Free to watch, but collections towards good causes in the village are made during the weekend.
What is it?
This Spring bank holiday weekend, from Friday 22nd May to Monday 25th May 2015, the village of Combe Martin in Devon will be taking part in a unique annual custom.
Revived in 1974, The Hunting of the Earl of Rone is a tradition which sees the local villagers dressing up for a long theatrical weekend of festivities. For four days over the bank holiday weekend the villagers, joined by the Grenadiers, the Hobby Horse and The Fool, search for the ‘Earl of Rone’.
Once captured the ‘Earl of Rone’ is paraded through the village back-to-front on a donkey. He is led down towards the beach where he is ‘shot’ and thrown into the sea.
There are several theories about how the custom began, but no one knows for sure. One theory is that fleeing Ireland, Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, was shipwrecked and hid in the woods until he was captured by Grenadiers.
Whatever the origin, The Hunting of the Earl of Rone is a unique celebratory event, which helps raise money for good causes and makes a great spectacle for visitors to watch.
This year’s ‘hunt’ will begin on the Friday at 6.45pm, from the Dolphin Inn.
More info: www.earl-of-rone.org.uk