REVELLERS gathered at Avebury for a traditional Wassail ceremony, blessing orchards and apple trees to encourage a bounteous harvest.

The ceremony typically takes place in early January and this was the fourth year the village has marked the start of the agricultural cycle with a Wassail.

Organised by villagers, the parish church and the National Trust, the event included a procession around Avebury with visits to gardens and orchards, singing traditional folk songs o the trees and creating an uproar of cheering, ringing and drumming. Outside Avebury Manor, the “Lord of the Manor” greeted the procession with cider and cake.

The new Avebury wassail bowl - carved from white maple - was passed around while the Jolly Boys performed a 19th century Mummers play, adapted by master of ceremonies Gordon Rimes. Spanker the Oss watched over the day’s proceedings.

Hazel Barry-Scott, senior visitor experience officer for the National Trust at Avebury, said: “It was lovely to be able to support the village for this event and we were pleased to supply delicious apple cake and mulled cider/juice, made by our catering team. Here’s to a good harvest later in the year!”