Beating the Bounds 938x228

Beating the Bounds

Beating the Bounds is a traditional ceremony dating back to medieval times and involves members of the community walking the boundary of St Albans. During the ceremony, people taking part in the event will be invited to beat the 'bounds' with willow wands at key locations along the 3 mile route. The procession, led by the Mayor and officers of the district council will follow the medieval boundary of the town as defined in 1327. The procession takes around 2 hours. Free.

The route will follow the ancient boundary as closely as possible and will take approximately two hours. At four key points along the way, the Mayor's Chaplain will say a short prayer and willow wands.

will be beaten on the ground. The four locations are:
• The Pudding Stone, Kingsbury Mill,
• Boundary mark near the 'Jolly Sailor' public house,
• Keyfield Car Park, Old London Road,
• River Ver, the bridge next to 'Ye Olde Fighting Cocks' public house, Verulamium Park.

Beating the Bounds in St Albans is thought to have started in the mid 13th century when the Tonman ditch was used to help define the boundary. Following a riot by the townspeople against the authority of the Abbot, twenty-four burgesses walked around the town in 1327 to confirm a clear boundary.

This became known as the Beating the Bounds ceremony. The walk was carried out to impress upon the townspeople the boundaries of the town and the privileges they were entitled to. Although the townspeople did obtain some freedoms, these were later quashed.

Today the ceremony is held to celebrate the medieval townspeople who fought to establish their rights as citizens of St Albans.

Date and time Sunday 13th May 2018
Starts at 2pm at Kingsbury Watermill, St Michaels Village
Address and contact details
More information on this and other Mayoral events can be found on the St Albans District Council website.
Tel: 01727 819544

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