Beating The Bounds

On Sunday 10th May the Poplar parish churches of All Saints and St. Nicholas will be reviving the old custom of ‘Beating the Bounds’. This was a ceremony held in the spring when the people of each parish would walk in procession around its boundaries. As well as asking for God’s blessing on the crops and the community, the purpose was to celebrate the area and the event usually ended with a party!

Although it has not been practiced for some time, we have old photos which show that the Beating of the Bounds continued in Poplar into the 20th century. The parish stretches from Limehouse Cut right down to Marsh Wall on the Isle of Dogs so the boundaries, much of which are along canal or riverside, run for over 6 miles. Our walk will start from St.Nicholas’s Church on Aberfeldy Street where we will be meeting at 12.30 for a simple lunch before setting out. The route will be broken into several stages, with points of interest along the way, so that you can leave it at any stage. We will be finishing at around 4.30 at All Saints Church, where we will also be planting a black poplar, the tree that gave the parish its name. Please join us for all, or any part, of the celebrations.