700 Year Old Event Returns To St Albans Today

13 May 2018, 07:24

St Albans Beating The Bounds

There's a chance to be part of a 700 year-old old ceremony in St Albans today.

The ancient custom of Beating The Bounds, dates back to medieval times and involves walking along a three mile route around St Albans to mark the boundary that then existed.
 
The public are being invited to join the walk which starts at 2pm at the Pudding Stone in front of Kingsbury Mill in St Michael's Village, St Albans.
 
The Beating the Bounds ceremony has its roots in a rebellion in 1327 against the authority of the established church.
 
Following a riot by the townspeople against the Abbot, 24 citizens walked around the town to lay down its boundaries and establish their rights.
 
This year's procession will be led by Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal Zia, and Elizabeth Eastwood acting as Town Crier.
 
People will be invited to beat the ground with wands made out of willow at four locations along the way:
 
* The pudding stone at Kingsbury Mill;
* The boundary mark near The Jolly Sailor pub at Stone Cross;
* Keyfield car park at Old London Road, and
* The bridge across the River Ver next to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub at Verulamium Park
 
Getting into the spirit, the Mayor was joined last week by pupils from nearby St Michael's Primary School to wave willow wands at the Pudding Stone.
 
The Mayor said:

"Come along to Beating the Bounds and join in this traditional ceremony that reminds us of local people who fought for rights as citizens. It will be great fun walking along the ancient boundary of our lovely City and beating the ground with willow wands at key points along the way."
 
Prayers will also be said along the route by the Mayor's chaplain Mohammad Abdul Muhit.
 
The walk will take around two hours and end at Verulamium Museum with tea and biscuits.
 
Everyone participating in the event will be given a special Beating the Bounds certificate.