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Beating the Bounds in

Brightwell cum Sotwell

Sixty parishioners joined together to beat the bounds on Sunday 12 May 2013 - a 15 mile walk around the parish boundary. The custom has ancient origins with many traditions - some of which we tried to weave into our perambulation. We started at St. Agatha's with a church blessing, we planted thorn trees as we processed to mark our boundary and we beat boundary hedges on our way with willow sticks. We even managed to find a small boy willing to jump over a muddy ditch (as was the custom) - well done Elliot Frost for 'volunteering'. The walk traditionally finished at the Red Lion so in the spirit of the event we all met up in the pub at the end.


At fifteen miles the walk was quite a slog but well worth it. Fifteen hardy souls and three dogs even made it the whole way round!


The beating of the bounds was organised as part of the Community Led Parish Plan. An important consideration in preparing the plan has been to ensure that all parts of the parish have been included so this was a good way of holding an event that through necessity takes place in Brightwell, Sotwell, Mackney, Sires Hill and Clapcot and I am pleased to say that we dad walkers from each of our settlements. Chatting afterwards we agreed that the walk had opened our eyes as to what an extraordinarily varied and beautiful landscape we have in our parish. We all considered ourselves very lucky to live in such a wonderful place.


  Jason Debney