The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Beating the Bounds at St Albans
Beating the Bounds at St Albans

Beating the Bounds at St Albans 1913

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Beating the Bounds at St Albans 1913

3 mins United Kingdom

Armed with wands of willow, the people of St Albans take to the fields for the annual ceremonial marking or 'beating' of the parish boundaries. Among the high-spirited chaos, this newsreel item shows a man and a woman being 'bumped' on a boundary-stone, to the delight of onlookers. Moving back to town, local dignitaries are jostled by brass bands and an ecstatic crowd in the grid-locked centre.

One of the longest-running events in the English calendar, 'beating the bounds' traditionally took place in various locations on Rogation Sunday, the fifth Sunday after Easter. The St Albans ceremony (which claims to date back to the 13th century) is one of a few surviving celebrations of its kind. The intertitle tells us that this occasion in 1913 marked a revival of the custom after a 34-year lapse, which helps explain the particularly large crowd. Today the event continues to serve as a focus for community bonding and general merrymaking.

Genres

Non-Fiction

Tags

Beating the bounds St Albans

Released

1913

Country

United Kingdom

Language

English

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

Explore
The map

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later