Below are selection of videos of the Barwick maypole. These (and many other related clips) are also available on our YouTube channel If you have any video you would like to share, please contact us as we would love to see it.

BBC Look North Coverage 2014

A short clip from BBC Look North’s coverage of the 2014 Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole Festival broadcast on Monday 26th May 2014 at 6.45pm.

Maypole Climber 2014

Chris Brown makes his third attempt of the 86 foot Barwick in Elmet Maypole as part of the triennial Maypole Festival. Despite earlier blue skies and sunshine, the odd spot of rain made the Maypole slippery (and in Chris’s own words, “much harder work”). Thankfully Chris made it to the top to spin the fox weather vane, accompanied by a huge roar from the surrounding crowd.

Maypole Climber 2011

Chris Brown makes his ascent of the 86 foot Barwick in Elmet maypole as part of the triennial Maypole Festival. Despite heavy rainfall earlier in the day, the weather eventually subsided, allowing Chris to make it to the top and spin the fox weather vane, bringing good luck to the village.



Maypole Procession 2011

The triennial Barwick Maypole Festival procession approaches Main Street on its route from the school (Chapel Lane) to Hall Tower field. The wet weather couldn’t dampen spirits and lots of people turned up on the day. This video was shot at the start of the parade (from the traffic island outside the New Inn)… the majority of crowds assembled to await the procession by the maypole.



Maypole Raising 2011

Raising a pole that’s 10 storeys high (and weighs more than a car) in the confines of a small village (whilst hundreds of spectators look on) is no easy task. Here the hardy locals ignore the damp weather and carry the maypole from its temporary home in Hall Tower field to take pride of place in the centre of the village. The maypole is slowly raised by crane, and in the spirit of tradition, the socket into which the pole is placed is then back-filled and tamped down by hand.



BBC Look North Coverage 2011

BBC Look North visits Barwick-in-Elmet to cover the 2011 Maypole Festival. Initial downpours didn’t dampen visitors spirits as several thousand people attended to witness the occasion. The sun eventually came out to shine around 5pm… just in time for local lad Chris Brown to make his successful ascent of the 86 foot maypole. Other attractions included a street craft market, beer festival, maypole queen’s procession, chidren’s maypole dancing and kids’ fun fair. A great day was had by all and the Maypole Trust looks forward to seeing everyone for the next festival in 2014!



BBC Radio Leeds interviews Chris Brown 2011

BBC Radio Leeds interviews Barwick maypole climber Chris Brown moments after he has successfully scaled the village’s 86 foot pole. Johnathan Ianson asks Chris how he got on, why he did it, and how he practised.


BBC Radio Leeds interviews Nigel Trotter 2011

BBC Radio Leeds interviews Barwick Maypole Trust Committee Chairman Nigel Trotter on the morning of the 2011 Barwick Maypole Festival. Martin Kelner asks Nigel about the connection between the village and the ‘Barwick Green’ music (theme from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers) and about what will be happening during the day. The interview concludes with Nigel hoping for some good weather.


‘Ancient & Modern’ DVD 2011

The Barwick Maypole Trust (in association with the Barwick Historical Society) is delighted to announce a new DVD for 2011. ‘Ancient & Modern’ documents the triennial Barwick-in-Elmet maypole festival, and compares the old and new techniques for lowering and raising the village’s famous 86 foot pole.

As well as footage from various festivals over the years, it features interviews with the committee Chairmen (past and present) and also this year’s daring pole climber Chris Brown.’Ancient & Modern’ makes a great keepsake for locals (and is an essential reference point anyone with an interest in maypoles too!).

The DVD has over an hour’s worth of content and makes a fantastic gift (especially for friends and family who grew up in the village and have since moved further afield). If you were in attendance in 1960, 1993, 1998, or 2008 there’s also a chance you might spot yourself (or someone you know) in the crowd!

The DVD was officially launched at the Maypole Festival on Monday 30th May 2011 and is also available for sale on this website (whilst stocks last). Profits from the sale of the DVD will be shared between the Maypole Trust and Barwick Historical Society.

Our thanks go to Richard Laurence at Innsight TV for his hard work and efforts in producing the DVD.


Clip embedded with the kind permission of Richard Laurence at Innsight TV Ltd.


Maintaining Barwick’s Maypole 2011

In this video, Kath and Carl Whitfield describe the process for refurbishing the maypole once it has been lowered. On average, it takes 80-90 hours of hard labour… sanding, filling, masking and painting the 86 foot long pole. We are especially grateful to Kath and Carl (who as a fine artist is used to painting of a somewhat different nature!). You can view some of Carl’s beautiful wildlife art at

Clip embedded with the kind permission of Richard Laurence at Innsight TV Ltd.


Maypole Lowering 2011

A short clip showing part of the the Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole lowering process. The Maypole is split into two sections, and is carried by local villagers to its temporary resting place in Hall Tower Hill. Here it will be inspected, repaired, and re-painted over several weeks until the raising ceremony on Spring Bank Holiday.


Maypole Lowering 2008

The Maypole being taken down in 2008. This event was not widely promoted and took place early in the morning to minimise disruption.

Clip embedded with the kind permission of Richard Laurence at Innsight TV Ltd.

Introduction to Barwick-In-Elmet 2010

A film about Barwick-in-Elmet (featuring shots of the Maypole festival). This clip takes a tour of the village, and gives a general overview of village life and the facilities on offer.

Clip embedded with the kind permission of Richard Laurence at Innsight TV Ltd.


Maypole Festival 1978

Were you at the Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole festival in 1978? If so, there’s a good chance your face was captured in a charming documentary film produced by the Leeds Cine Club (a.k.a Leeds Movie Makers). This 18 minute movie shows the traditional method of taking down, re-painting and putting back up the maypole. If you spot yourself (or anyone else you know) we would love to hear from you!

The movie is one of several held on-line at the Yorkshire Film Archive. which is well worth a visit!


Barwick Beer Festival

The next Barwick Beer Festival is on Saturday 17th October 2015.
Please click here for more details.

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