Boundary Walk of Crewkerne Parish September 2nd

Photo shows Gail Coleshill and Caroline Dredge at the Boundary point at Shutteroaks Bridge.
Photo shows Gail Coleshill and Caroline Dredge at the Boundary point at Shutteroaks Bridge.

News Release: Crewkerne District Rotary, Crewkerne Town Council, Blackmore Vale Community Rail are in partnership organising a Boundary Walk of Crewkerne Parish

Although there is no record of ‘Beating the bounds’ in Crewkerne probably because the limits were still changing as late as 1934, the Civic society started some boundary walks in the 1990s and the Rotary Club has revived the custom more recently. This year the Town Council will be joining the members of Crewkerne District Rotary and the Community Rail Partnership to organise it as a community event.

The advantage of a Parish Boundary walk is that although in total it’s about 6 miles, there are points along it where people can cut back into town whenever they want or after 2 or 4 miles.

This year’s walk will meet at 13.30 for a 14.00 start, at the library. It will be led by Gail Coleshill (CRP) and Martin Holley (CDR) Contact Rusty Jackson (TC) 01460 75400 for more details or to let her know if you would like to come. Unfortunately, the nature of the walk means that pushchairs will not be able to be used.

The ceremony of ‘Beating the Bounds’ was started to instal the limits of a Parish into the memories of youngsters in the days before maps. The church led group would walk around the bounds and stop at intervals at a boundary post or stone.

Here the boys of the parish would take it in turns to be beaten – or have their heads bumped to help them remember where they were. Research has suggested that Crewkerne parish had boundary stones at Shutteroaks bridge, Cathole Bridge and Nan Bulls grave. The Maiden Beech was another and the mile stone on the boundary on the A30 was probably used as a marker.
Caroline Dredge of the Crewkerne District Rotary says;

“We promise we won’t be beating anyone on this walk but it wasn’t as cruel as it sounds because the boys would be rewarded with treats afterwards. In the old days the whole thing would be a bit of a party as food and drink would be brought along for the occasion.


Phillip Bell

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