Dance The Clootie Well 1238

Also known as “The Cloutie Well” (spelling).

Reel · 32 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 213)

Devised by
John Drewry (1977)
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Extra info
John Drewry noted in the ...

John Drewry noted in the original description:

The Clootie Well is near Culloden (although others occur in other parts of the country). By tradition, it is visited on the first Sunday in May; the visitor throws a coin in the well and ties a cloot to one of the trees to symbolise the leaving of all cares behind.

May 1st 1977 was a Sunday. I visited the well with Simon Fraser about a week later and the lower branches of the trees surrounding the well were festooned with hundreds of bits of rag.

It would appear that this is the survival of a pre-Christian Celtic custom.

In later editions of the book, John Drewry added:

This version issued in September 1977, has an improved figure for Bars 1-8 and this should replace the earlier version (May 1977).


The spelling "Clootie" (rather than "Cloutie") is probably preferable in that it gives a better indication of the pronunciation. Both spellings are given in Chambers Scots Dictionary.

The Clootie Well 3/4L · R32

1s+2s set, 2s cast up & 1s cross down, turn 2nd corner LH & pass LSh to face 1st corners (2nd corners keep dancing)
1s Dance to Each Corner & Set:
9-10 1s change places with 1st corners passing RSh & 1st corners pass RSh with a 1/4 turn to right in centre to face 2nd corners (as 2nd corners set)
11-12 Original 1st crnrs change places with 2nd crnrs passing RSh & 2nd crnrs pass RSh with a 1/4 turn to right to face 1s in 3rd crnr (pstn) as 1s set
13-14 Original 2nd corners change places with 1s passing RSh & 1s pass RSh with a 1/4 turn to right to face 2nd corner (pstn) as orig 1st corners set
15-20 Repeat this Fig once more until 1s end in centre facing partner with 3s & 2s in 1st & 3rd places opposite sides
1st pass RSh & dance out through 2nd place (own side) then round 3rd corner into centre facing partner's side while 2s & 3s set advancing diagonally & dance 1/2 RH across to end in own places facing out
1s dance LSh reels of 3 across (Man with 2s) & 1M+2M also 1L+3L turn RH to end 2 1 3

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NameDateOwnerLast changed
180118A 2018-01-18 Michael Däther Jan. 14, 2018, 9:31 p.m.
Workshops Summer Course Kuckucksnest 2015 Truus de Ceuster June 9, 2017, 5:45 p.m.
Oldenburg 2018-10-01 2018-10-01 David Quarrie Oct. 2, 2018, 12:21 p.m.
Oldenburg 2017-11-13 (Erikaweg) 2017-11-13 David Quarrie Nov. 14, 2017, 12:28 p.m.
180215A 2018-02-15 Michael Däther Feb. 11, 2018, 4:50 p.m.
180201A 2018-02-01 Michael Däther Jan. 28, 2018, 5:20 p.m.

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