Historic ‘Beating the Bounds’ ceremony to mark out boundary of St Albans
- Credit: Archant
An ancient ceremony will be taking place in St Albans later this month which involves beating the ground with willow sticks while circumnavigating the city.
The ‘Beating the Bounds’ ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 21, and residents are invited to take part in the custom alongside St Albans Mayor Cllr Frances Leonard.
The ceremony dates back 700 years, to 1327, and involves walking along the 4.5 mile boundary of the city and using wands made of willow to beat the ground at significant locations. In the past, the ceremony was used for people to pass on knowledge of where the boundary lay and to exert their rights as citizens.
In 1327, 24 citizens rebelled against the authority of the established church by walking around the town to lay down its boundaries, following a riot by the townspeople against the Abbot.
Cllr Leonard will lead the ceremony, and the walk will start at 2pm at the pudding stone in front of Kingsbury Mill in St Michael’s village. Prayers will be said along the route by the mayor’s chaplain, the Reverend Em Coley from St Leonard’s Church in Sandridge, and tour guide Stephen Potter will take on the role of town crier.
You may also want to watch:
The walk will take about two hours and will finish at Verulamium Museum with tea and biscuits. Everyone who takes part will be given a special Beating the Bounds certificate.
Cllr Leonard said: “Join me in Beating the Bounds and help mark the boundary of historic St Albans. This traditional ceremony not only helps remind us of our rights as citizens, but is also a lot of fun.”
- 1 7 of the best brunches in St Albans and Harpenden
- 2 Ammunition found in bag on St Albans street
- 3 'Abusive and aggressive' St Albans man given Criminal Behaviour Order
- 4 Teenager strangled in attack in St Albans park
- 5 Harpenden's Olympic hero watches daughter win gold
- 6 Bee inspired by new display at St Albans restaurant
- 7 The latest court results for the St Albans area
- 8 150 homes plan for Green Belt land in north St Albans is approved
- 9 Why has it taken so long for Young's to open St Albans pub?
- 10 Area Guide: The popular Highfield area of St Albans