Newspaper Cutting - Beating the Bounds in Beeston

Photo:Cutting from unknown newspaper 1895

Cutting from unknown newspaper 1895

Nottinghamshire Archives Ref: DD 1096/9

Published 1895

By Nottinghamshire Archives

Nottinghamshire Archives preserves many unusual and unexpected documents from personal collections. The deposit of such items can be done by any member of the public for no charge.

This cutting contains a poem called Beating the Bounds, which was published in a local (unknown) newspaper poem. This perambulation began and ended at the ‘fam’d Hop Pole'.

Beating the Bounds is an ancient custom involving a formal perambulation of a church’s parish boundaries. Community members of all ages would walk the boundaries of the parish: to replace boundary stones in their correct positions, prevent encroachment by neighbours, and to maintain the memory of the true borders. In a time when maps were rare, the practice was used to pass knowledge down the generations. This perambulation was usually led by the parish priest and other church officials, who prayed for the parish’s protection.


The first three verses have been transcribed.

Beating the Bounds

April 11th 1895

‘Twas a glorious April morning,

In eighteen ninety-five,

When William Walker surveyed with

His gallant forty-five.

The meet was at the fam’d  “Hop Pole,”

And ten o’clock the time :

When councillors came flocking in

To Betsay Curtsay’s shrine


Each started with a bitter beer,

And then drove in a peg

As a landmark to the Parish ;

And thus “fair William” said :

I have some stakes that you may see,

Containing names and letters ;

It is a fad of mine, but then,

They’re paid for by my betters.


“So what’s the odds,” I like my way,

Now men with paint and brush

Just follow me, and you will see

How through the gaps I push.

So “faithful William,” large as life,

Like Nelson, led the way,

For half a league, and then alas !

He seemed to go astray.

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