Shermanbury’s biennial Beating the Bounds takes place on Rogation Sunday which this year is 26th May, starting at St Giles church at 2.00pm. It is a popular event made more so because of the fabulous cakes and teas prepared and served by the Friends of St Giles. Last time we also enjoyed freshly prepared vegetarian ‘Indian Street Food’, which will on offer again this year. It’ll be half term so we hope Mums and Dads will bring their children because face painting will be available for children of all ages!
This year is Horsham’s Year of Culture and heritage is the theme so the ancient tradition of Beating the Bounds, which goes back to Anglo-Saxon times, held in the honour of Terminus, the god of landmarks, is a very appropriate reminder of the heritage of the parish. It was traditionally carried out so that inhabitants knew the extent of their parish before maps were invented. The locals, led by the vicar walk the boundary of their parish checking that boundary stones or markers were in the right place and ensuring the that knowledge of the boundary was passed on from generation to generation. During the procession, the boundary markers were beaten with sticks and it is believed the youngsters of the parish were taught where the boundaries were by being held upside down with their heads in contact with the boundary markers to ensure they remembered where they are. It was a way of strengthening the community and gives it a sense of place something the people of Shermanbury said was important to them during the neighbourhood planning process a couple of years ago.
The aim of the current revival, which is led by the Rector of St Giles, is to increase this sense of community cohesion between the two parts of the parish, Shermanbury and Wineham, and the wider community so in this year of culture our neighbouring parishes are being invited to join us to learn a bit about the heritage of the area.
Rather than walk the entire boundary, more than 12 miles, we will amble along the historic bridleway, known as The Grove, between the church at St Giles, just off the A281, where there will be car parking, and the lovely chapel and its garden on Frylands Lane in Wineham. It’s a family friendly ‘there and back’ route of about a mile, but for those who prefer to walk one way only there will be transport available for the journey back to St Giles for refreshments. The Grade II* Saxon St Giles church will be open on the day so the delights of that can be enjoyed as well.
Join us for a relaxing amble with views of the river Adur and enjoy the heritage and delights on your doorstep. Put the date in your diary. Bring the family and your dog and your own stick!