Beating the Bounds of Westerham Parish
Monday 1st May 2017 from 8am
Please download walking routes below
The Westerham Society was delighted to welcome families, groups, friends and visitors to join the residents of Westerham in checking our boundaries are still in place! Residents and visitors explored our wonderful countryside, enjoyed the views and joined the community for an historic Maypole Dance by the children of Churchill School, with burgers, music, entertainment and refreshments on The Green in the afternoon.
Walking starts any time after 8am and the BBQ runs from about 12.30pm. The day was free to enjoy, although donations in the buckets in aid of the town’s hanging baskets were gratefully received.
Of course, anyone can download the route cards (see below) and follow the route of the old parish boundary at any time, but spring was truly in the air and it was a chance to invite friends and relatives to Westerham for an unusual day out.
In 2016 the Family Section was run by Westerham Scouts who created “Elizabeth’s Trail” through the woods in homage to Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. There were clues along the way which helped answer a quiz which can be downloaded here. This section from Westerham Hill to Charman’s Farm (shortly to be site of the new Squerryes Winery and Brewery) has some wonderful views from the North Downs. Many caught the 246 bus opposite The Green, at 25 past each hour, and got off at The Avenue, to walk the Family Section. About 50 walkers joined Anne and her friends, on this section which is about 3.6 miles. Anne finished back on The Green, at about 12.30pm.
There was a Farmers’ Market on the Green all morning and BBQ, tea and live music in the afternoon. Thank you to our volunteer musicians Rock Stars Uncle (a 4 piece band), Lucy and John Kitt, Joy and Dan Lewis with Phil Sutton, and our very own Westerham Local Vocals.
The last record of locals dancing around a Maypole in Westerham is of children from the Peace Celebration pageant, in July 1919, at Squerryes Park. Churchill School children performed again this year, on The Green. The children practised under the expert eye of Liz and John Scholey – John is Westerham’s Town Crier and they were joined by Mike the Morris Man (who often plays in the General Wolfe on a Sunday). Performances were at 1 pm and again at 3pm.
The Westerham Society would thank all the volunteers, musicians and organisers for their effort. We hope we achieved a fun day out for all the family, as well as raising much needed funds for the Hanging Baskets Appeal.And a special thanks to all our brave walkers – see you all next May!
Gordon Rodgers, Chair of Westerham Society
Photos thanks to Pete Anstock, April Richer, Darren Hayes, Beth Mullings & Jane Bowes
The Westerham Society hopes you enjoy the walk, but cannot be held responsible for any loss, injury or damage arising out of, or connected with the Beating of the Bounds event.
Route Card. Detailed notes for walking in either direction can be downloaded by clicking here for clockwise directions or here for anticlockwise directions. These have been updated for 2016 and there are a number of small changes from last year.
We have chosen the section from Westerham Hill to Charman’s Farm (Beggars Lane) as a Family Friendly trail. Run by the Scouts, this will be called “Elizabeth’s Trail” and a family friendly quiz sheet can be downloaded here. Youth groups and clubs may like to organise their own members to take part in the walk, and we’d be happy to evidence badges and activity logs.
Showcase Your Westerham Group
The Westerham Society is keen for others in the community to join in the festivities and we’d like to invite your group to bring a small table, notice, or just a person for our marquee on The Green in the afternoon. The aim is to showcase your group’s activities to our visitors, and perhaps sign up new members. If you’d like to join in, please reply and we’d be delighted to reserve a space for you.
If you have any questions please contact Gordon Rodgers on 01959 564140 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beating the Bounds of a parish is an ancient tradition, based on the need for inhabitants to know the extent of their land, before the days of maps. The people, led by the vicar and choirboys, would walk round the boundary, checking that the boundary stones were in place, and making sure that everyone, particularly the young, knew where the boundary lay. The Vicar would also bless the land in the hope of a fruitful harvest.
The earliest record of this in Westerham is on 22nd May 1718. Trees and posts were marked with the letter W. Next in 1758 and again in 1805, mentions are found in the parish archives. Read more…