CHRISTLETON children took part in an ancient tradition on Sunday, first enacted when health and safety rules were less strict than today.
The youngsters were ‘bumped’ on stones during the Beating of the Bounds ceremony to mark the boundaries of the parish.
The event, involving more than 100 people, began with prayers at St James’ Church in Christleton, led by Canon Peter Lee. The group then walked around the villages and hamlets of Christleton, Rowton, Cotton Abbotts, Cotton Edmunds and Littleton to mark the boundary of Christleton Parish.
Choirgirl Isobel Holland was the first child to be bumped on a stone followed by Daniel Brown, whose bumping marked the border between Christleton and Boughton.
The walk finally ended at the Old Glass House where the tired walkers enjoyed refreshments provided by Mr and Mrs Peter Wigley, continuing a family tradition that was started by Ames and Elisabeth Hellicar in 1953.
Beating the Bounds was first enacted in Chester in 1540 by the mayor, Henry Gee.
It was a device to set the boundaries of the city at a time when maps were virtually non existent.
The tradition, once commonly celebrated throughout Europe, had important religious as well as practical implications, beseeching God’s blessing on the coming harvest.