Kesteven Morris 

Lincolnshire's premier Morris team

Kesteven Morris

comprises of seven men and seven women dancers, and musicians playing melodeons, accordion, guitar and bodhran. Traditions danced include Bampton, Bledington, Bucknell, Sherborne, Fieldtown, Lichfield and Upton On Seven and of course the famous Sleaford dances - Lincwold, North West, Garland, and East Anglian Molly

Kesteven Morris in action

The Truth about Morris Dancing

Morris dancing is the most widespread form of vital and exciting traditional English customs still extant. Despite the efforts of the early church to suppress pagan rituals; despite efforts by polite society to turn the dance into a skipping game; despite wars wiping out generations who performed it; despite modern English apathy; this ancient part of our heritage continues.

Its existence in

South Lincolnshire,

and the

East Midlands

is ensured by Kesteven Morris.
Anxious that the Morris dance should be seen by as many people as possible, the group perform at a wide variety of locations from vast stately homes to small garden fetes, from country pubs to city centres, in fact anywhere where a crowd of people gather.

Kesteven Morris ensure their high spirited performances are skilful, enthusiastic and entertaining while taking care never to compromise the spirit of a unique and powerful English Tradition.

Kesteven is one of the three old counties which now form the county of Lincolnshire.

The Medieval painted glass window shown is the Betley Window, now in the V & A and depicts Morris Dancers, dating possibly from the 15th Century.
stained glass with Morris Dancers
From the county records - Sleaford early 19th Century - "Morris Dances are still practised in this neighbourhood, though not with the zeal of former times. This pastime is a combination of the ancient pageants and the morisco dance; and maid Marion and the Fool are considered as indispensable appendages to the party. It is an antique piece of mummery performed at Christmas, as a garbled vestige of the sports which distinguished the Scandinavian Festival of Yule. The performers repeat a kind of dialogue in verse and prose which is intended to create mirth, and ends in a comic sword dance and a plentiful libation of ale."

I have seen the Kesteven Morris dance with grace and skill
Their steps are swift and rhythmic, their movements smooth and still
They weave a spell of magic with their ribbons and their bells
They bring to life the legends of the land where they dwell
Their costumes are a rainbow of the seasons and the flowers
Their music is a melody of ancient tunes and powers
They honor the traditions of their ancestors and kin
They celebrate the beauty of the world that they live in
The Kesteven Morris are a joy to watch and to admire
They fill my heart with wonder and they set my soul on fire
They are the truest poets of the dance that I have known
They are the Kesteven Morris and they make the earth their own

Francis Pryor MBE FSA reflects on his time with Kesteven Morris click here