As Urswick Rushbearing marked its 100th birthday in 2005, The Mail described the roots of the ancient ceremony.

In the Middle Ages, before homes had carpets, people used rushes as floor coverings.

Villages across the country held special summer ceremonies when the rushes were harvested.

In some villages, they made special rush sculptures, called bearings, and carried them in a procession.

The custom of bearing rushes to the parish church came from the time when churches had earthen floors and rushes were strewn for warmth. Several times a year they were renewed.

The custom of taking the rushes to church gradually developed into a religious festival.

Rushbearing in Urswick had discontinued in 1837 but wasrevived in 1905 and had continued without interruption to 2005.

Large crowds turned out to enjoy that year’s event.

Dalton Town Band led the procession with new rushbearing queen Amy Cross, 15, who wore a cream-coloured dress and a crown decorated with rushes and flowers.

She was escorted by four attendants, Hannah Cowsill, Emily Cowsill, Emma Webster and Sophie Philip.

The colourful procession left Low Furness School and marched to Little Urswick Green through Great Urswick before it reached the ancient parish church of St Mary and St Michael’s.

The rushbearing service was led by the vicar of Urswick, the Rev Colin Honour.

The hymns included the Rushbearer’s Challenge and other special hymns.

After the service, rushbearing queen Amy placed flowers on the grave of the Reverent Postlethwaite, who revived Urswick's rushbearing ceremony in 1905.

Everyone then returned to the school, where they enjoyed traditional gingerbread and refreshments.

Centenary mugs were provided for pupils of Low Furness School and children who took part in the rushbearing ceremony.

Julie Cross, mother of rushbearing queen Amy, said: "I think rushbearing is good for Urswick and brings all the people together. It's one of the highlights of the year in Urswick."