A group of around 38 people set off from the library in Falkland Square to walk around the parish boundary on Saturday afternoon. The walk was led by President of the Rotary Club of Crewkerne District Martin Holley and Gail Coleshill of the Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership. The first part of the walk up the valley behind St Bartholomew’s church was accomplished at a brisk pace. The group then paused to acknowledge the boundary at Saunders Piece Lane and hear some interesting facts about the boundary walk from Gail Coleshill.
The walk continued to Cathole Bridge road before turning north east along the boundary line to Shutteroaks bridge. Martin Holley said: “Sadly there was no evidence of the reputed boundary post there but local residents directed us back up the track to the so called ‘Devils Staircase’ footpath, which was certainly a bit of a climb.” At this point, the parish boundary line proved too difficult to follow and the walking group headed towards Crow Castle Lane. A tree had recently fallen down on to the footpath and the walkers needed to climb over it to proceed. The incident will be reported to the footpath officer by councillor Rusty Jackson.
At Longstrings Lane, the group of walkers crossed over the main A30 road to Easthams Lane where they decided to follow the scenic route via Butts Quarry Lane taking them over the valley towards Station Road, where they followed the line of the boundary along footpaths to the top of Lang Road. Due to the amount of traffic experienced along Cathole Bridge road, the walkers called it a day and headed back into town. Martin Holley said: “It was ideal weather for our walk so most people made it at least half way round. I was impressed by how many made it right to the end and it was great to see such a lot of people joining us for the afternoon. They all said how much they had enjoyed it and would join us next year too.”
The annual walk around the parish boundary was known originally as ‘Beating The Bounds’. It is believed to date back hundreds of years and have originally been led by a member of the church clergy. The tradition was revived by the Civic Society in the 1990s and is now under the leadership of the Rotary Club of Crewkerne District. This year’s event was organised by the Rotary Club of Crewkerne District, Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership and Crewkerne Town Council.