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Beating the bounds of Chawton

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In former times when maps were rare, it was usual to make a formal tour of the parish boundaries. The priest of the parish with the churchwardens and the parochial officials, headed a crowd of boys who, armed with green boughs, usually birch or willow, beat the parish boundary markers with them. Sometimes the boys were themselves whipped, or even violently bumped on the boundary stones to make them remember. The object of taking boys is supposed to ensure that witnesses to the boundaries, should survive as long as possible.

The ceremony had an important practical purpose. Checking the boundaries was a way of preventing encroachment by neighbours; sometimes boundary markers would be moved, or lines obscured and a folk memory of the true extent of the parish, was necessary to maintain integrity of borders.

In England the custom is as old as Anglo-Saxon days, as it is mentioned in the laws of Alfred the Great and Aethelstan, however it could go back as far as the Vikings, or even the Romans who had a festival – Terminalia – in honour of Terminus, the god of landmarks.

It is some time since we ‘beat the bounds’ of Chawton, so this coming October, on Saturday 2nd, we will be doing what Chawtonians have been doing for centuries.
We will start mid morning from the entrance to Chawton House drive, with lunch at the Greyfriar before the second half of our 11 mile walk.

It is a fun day out, good exercise too, and a chance to meet your fellow villagers.

Nearer the date I will confirm the exact time of departure.

Tony Day
01420 561484

 
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Upcoming Events

  • Chawton WI - Bee Good Skincare
    March 08, 2017 (19:30 - 21:30)

    Chawton WI are hosting Bee Good Skincare at Chawton Village Hall.

    Come along to our talk from Simon Cavill Bee Expert and founder of local company.

  • Chawton WI - Working with Chocolate
    April 12, 2017 (19:30 - 21:30)

    Chawton WI are holding a working with chocolate session.

    Come along to a delicious edible demonstration at Chawton Village Hall

  • Chawton WI - AGM and social evening
    May 10, 2017 (19:30 - 21:30)

    Chawton WI's AGM and social evening is being held at Chawton Village Hall.

  • Chawton WI Open Day
    June 10, 2017 (11:00 - 16:00)

    The ladies of Chawton WI invite you to join us at our Open Day where we will be serving a variety of delicious refreshments and you can come and learn about the WI and see what we get up to.

    More details to follow.

    Event held at Chawton Village Hall.

  • Chawton Open Gardens
    June 10, 2017 (13:00 - 17:00)

    Gardens Open

    Weekend Event with various gardens in the village open to the public

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