On the 29th May each year a ceremony takes place in the centre of Northampton to mark Oak Apple Day, a custom with its roots in the restoration of the Crown when Charles 11 came to the throne in 1660.
Once it was a public holiday, sadly no more, in fact it was a public holiday until 1859,
why Oak Apple Day ? well the name is a reference to the time when Charles hid in an oak tree from his Roundhead pursuers following the battle of Worcester in 1651.
This incident also accounts for the many public houses in England with the name "The Royal Oak". The 29th May 1630 was also the date of the birth of the future King Charles 11.
Long ago people with Royalist sympathies would wear oak leaves or sprigs of oak with the apple still attached, this was also a sign of their approval of the restoration of the Monarchy.
Others that perhaps did nor share this sentiment and failed to display Oak leaves upon their doors would have a wreaths of stinging nettles placed upon their doorsteps.
The ceremony in Northampton is attended by various dignitaries and sees a wreath of Oak leaves placed around the neck of the statue of Charles 11 that sits on the portico of All Saints Church, unfortunately I was not in the town yesterday so was unable to take any pictures.
Outside of Northamptonshire this day is also marked in the counties of Worstershire, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire and also in London.
The picture is of the statue of Charles with his Oak wreath from a previous ceremony.