How old is the Morris? A question which can be answered with any date from last year back to the 'mists of time'. A dance may have only been written last summer and is yet to prove its staying power; a tradition or style of dance may grow with a new side and fade as they disperse; the 'snapshot' of the traditions collected from the old sides at the turn of the century and preserved; the mention without a description of Morris in Shakespeare; the earliest mentions of a 'Maurice' dance in Parish records; The dances danced before they were thought worth recording. Each answer is valid but answers a different question.


  • 1458: Earliest reference to the Morris
  • 1497: Earliest mention of the Morris in Parish records.





  • 18??: Competitions and Fairs - Elaboration of the dances.
  • 1866: Morris Dancing and May-Day Games as printed in Walford's Anitquarian.
  • 1899: The 'collection' of the Cotswold Morris - Cecil Sharp at Headington.


  • 19??: Two views of the Cotswold Morris - Cecil Sharp and Mary Neil.
  • 1906: First of Sharp's 'Morris Books' published.
  • 19??: Morris appearing in the USA.
  • 1914: First World War
  • 1935: Founding of the Morris Ring.
  • 1940: Second World War
  • 196?: A handout for a Morris Ring meeting - a late sixties view of the Morris
  • 196?: The Folk Revival
  • 196?: First Revival sides in the USA.
  • 1972: Morris On.
  • 1974: Publishing of 'Bacon', an 'Aide Memoire' of dances and traditions.
  • 19??: Founding of the Womens Morris Federation - not only a men's dance.
  • 19??: Founding of the Open Morris.
  • 199?: Start of the Morris Dance Discussion List
  • 1994: First Morris Teams on the Web.