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News > College News > Climbing Danny Hill on the Longest Day of the year

Climbing Danny Hill on the Longest Day of the year

Tuesday 21st June saw the climbing of Wolstonbury (Danny) Hill which hasn't been able to take place since 2019 due to Covid.

Since the 1850s, Hurst pupils and staff have climbed the hill once a year and sung a Latin hymn or have taken part in a celebration of Holy Communion. Originally on Ascension Day, it was the idea of our first Headmaster, Dr Lowe, to mark an important day in the church calendar by ascending the highest hill in the area with a ceremony at the top. In this ceremony members of the choir and the sacristans were presented with a gift of money to thank them for their contribution to the chapel services over the year, and it became an annual tradition.

Dr. Lowe even left money in his will so that this ‘dole’ would be continued after his death, and it became known as ‘Lowe’s Dole’. 

The hymn-singing or service on the summit of Danny was at one time followed by a’ scramble’ for ‘tuck’ thrown down the hill by the Masters, to the boys below – but this part of the tradition has long disappeared, as has the custom of having free time for the rest of the day.

A beautiful sunny day saw all staff and pupils climb to the top for the service and well deserved water bottles!

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