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Beating The Bounds

Traditionally done on Ascension Day - 40 days after Easter, it was common in every Parish. Simply, it involves a gathering of people to process around the Parish Boundary, stopping occasionally at a significant tree to pray and ritually beat with sticks of stripped Willow. It was a way of marking and verifying territory and to ensure that a neighbouring village had not stolen a field. Crosses may be cut into the trees and boys heads knocked together in some versions if they did not know the place name. Children were invited to join in to get to know the markers.

It may incorporate an earlier custom which was one of protection by marking symbols at the boundary.