Beating of the Bounds 2017!

The late great Katy Andrews leading the Beating of the Bounds ceremony.

Save Lea Marshes (SLM) is organising a walk following the ancient tradition of “Beating the Bounds”. Revived in the 1990s by the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee, “Beating the Bounds” involves blessing the boundaries of the area following pagan and Christian rites and more recent traditions.

Once each year, sometimes on a legally designated or customary date, people still walk around local areas of land to re-establish rights of common or mark significant
boundaries, such as of a Parish, Manor or an area of Common Land or public open space. This often takes place during Rogationtide, in springtime, when prayers were once offered asking for the fertility of the land. Willow sticks decorated with flowers and ribbons are traditionally carried and important boundary markers hit with them. Younger children are turned upside-down to have their heads bumped three times at significant points ‘to imprint the location on their minds!’ – boys might also be hung over bridges, and girls were “pricked” with pins. This year Rogation Sunday falls on 21st May!

To find out more about this part of our history, come along and enjoy the fun!

WHEN: SUNDAY 21ST MAY. We will be doing the traditional “stripping of the willows” from 1.00 pm and the walk will be departing at 2.00 p.m.
WHERE: Gathering on the tow path by the Princess of Wales Pub, E5 9RB
 We will be walking around the perimeter of Leyton and Walthamstow Marshes, with our special guests the “THE BELLES OF LONDON CITY” folk dancers with a hobby horse.
We will be pointing out the places where walking rights have been eroded and sites which are threatened by development, but also have fun along the way.
Bring your friends and family, learn about local history, and enjoy a good walk, a song or two, some dancing and good company. There will be stopping- off points for those who do not wish to go the whole route. Wear sensible shoes. Bring water. Dress colourfully if you like. Parts of the walk may pose difficulties for those with buggies and wheelchairs. We will help with finding alternative routes on those section. Dogs welcome.
Unfortunately, we have been informed that The Princess of Wales will be shut for redecoration on the day of the walk and so recommend you eat lunch beforehand or bring a picnic. We have, however, been kindly permitted to use the tables outside the pub to prepare the willows etc.
SLM is renewing the tradition of this walk following in the footsteps of local historian Katy Andrews. She sadly passed away two years ago but we know she will be with us in spirit and very much present in the history of the area that she studied for many years.
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