The Derbyshire Carol Workshop, 2 December 2023

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‘Peace o’er the World’ Find out about village carolling in the Hope Valley of Derbyshire

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So, how many tunes to ‘While Shepherds’ are there?

An article by Ian Russell in The European Journal of Musicology

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See the Folklore Society’s ‘Katharine Briggs Lecture’ ‘Peace o’er the World: Christmas Carolling in the Hope Valley’ by Ian Russell

Tuesday 16 November 2021 on Zoom – Watch the Video
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Please save the date – the next Festival of Village Carols at Grenoside is Saturday 7 December 2024.

The Derbyshire Book of Village Carols New Edition

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Festival of Village Carols DVD – Available now

A film by Frank Parker – A delightful selection of twenty of the best carols from the Festival of Village Carols held at Grenoside Community Centre, Sheffield, on 3 December 2016.

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Traditional Singing in West Sheffield, 1970–1972

PhD Thesis by Ian Russell

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Village Carols is a non-profitmaking organisation which exists to record and promote local carol singing traditions. Its main roles are undertaking fieldwork and research, organising the collection of source material, and promoting local carol singing traditions.

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Fieldwork and research

This takes two main forms:

– interviewing carol singers about their traditions and recording the actual singing (preferably, in the correct context);

– investigating record offices, libraries and archives for relevant references to local singing and music manuscripts.

Promoting local carol singing traditions

This is largely done through the production of the cassette/CD and book series. To date, there are ten sets. For details, please see Village Carols publications. An order form is also downloadable on that page.

Organising the collection of source material

The hundreds of tape recordings and manuscripts are steadily being indexed and organised into a usable archive for which there is public access. The recordings of the carols are being copied and the copies placed in the National Sound Archive (British Library) and in the Archives of Cultural Tradition at the University of Sheffield.

Ian Russell describes his approach to research, recording, documentation and publication in a paper written for the Folklore Journal in 2006, and reproduced here.

Festival of Village Carols

The Festival of Village Carols is held every two years to celebrate the remarkable carol singing traditions that flourish in the villages near Sheffield, and elsewhere. The first Festival was in 1994, and, apart from the year 2000, has always been held at the Community Centre in Grenoside.

To mark the Millennium, the Festival took place on Saturday 2 December 2000 at the Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield. The 2002 Festival featured the Glen Rock Carolers from Pennsylvania, USA at Grenoside on Saturday 30 November 2002.

The 2012 Festival was on Saturday 1 December 2012 in the Grenoside Community Centre.


Locations and information for pubs in the Sheffield area where carols are sung.

Carol Indexes

Explore the collection of songs


Articles and research

Carols with a difference. Centuries old living tradition from communities in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Carollers at Foolow

CD and book sets

Sheet Music PDF

CD only