Local school children in historic ‘Beating of the Bounds’ ceremony at the Tower of London
Taking place every three years, the ‘Beating of the Bounds’ ceremony sees local children beat out the boundaries of the Tower of London with willow sticks in an ancient and colourful ceremony. The procession was led by the Chief Yeoman Warder to mark the territory of the Tower with the help of the children who live at the Tower of London and children from nearby Havering.
The ceremony began with an Evensong service in the Chapel Royal. The Chief Yeoman Warder led the procession to Tower Hill and cried ‘Mark well’, instructing the children to beat the marker with willow wands and reply with a cry of ‘Marked’. The procession continued around the outskirts of the Tower, until the procession was met by the Parish party of All Hallows. The Resident Governor announced the ceremony of Beating of the Bounds to the Vicar of All Hallows and assured him that they came in peace, before both parties doffed their hats and continued with the ceremony.
The procession finished inside the Tower of London with a verse of the ‘The National Anthem.’
Notes to Editors
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The Beating of the Bounds ceremony establishes the Liberty of the Tower keeping with the Act of Parliament for Facilitation Union of Liberties (14 August 1850) Under this Act residents in the Tower must ‘Beat with willow wands upon marker post setting out its liberties” meaning they must establish the ground over which the Tower’s rights extend.
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