Beating the Bounds

Beating the Bounds

Beating the bounds Dorset Life review
book cover

The ancient custom of perambulating the parish boundary has been beautifully captured in a new publication ‘Beating the Bounds’.From an idea by Sue Jones, brought to life and written by Andrew Knox, photographed and produced by Leonora Sheppard and Roger Stayte it has become a delightful, pocket-sized guidebook. It is illustrated with photographs of the parish and clear mapping to guide you on the walk and help you discover the rich and diverse landscape that surrounds us, either by foot or from the comfort of an armchair.

The book is on sale in Briantspuddle Village Shop for £10.  Profits will be donated to the Shop.

It’s also available to purchase at all good bookshops ISBN: 978-1-5272-1718-8 and online at – search for Beating the Bounds

book open

Here’s the story behind the book, by Sue Jones:

“Ten years ago I set out on a journey as a fledgling Parish Councillor.  At the time I didn’t know the twists and turns of the way ahead, the strangeness of the terrain, or what obstacles and challenges might lie in my path.  As with all adventures I encountered many interesting characters along the way, and I have learnt much and made new friends.

To mark my tenth anniversary, and to look back over the decade, I decided to undertake a different sort of adventure.  I settled on the idea of retracing the steps of an old annual ritual, marking the Parish boundary called ‘Beating the Bounds’.  I considered this journey to represent a more personal connection between myself and our Parish, as well as presenting its own challenges, like finding the closest route to the Parish boundary itself whilst keeping to public rights of way.

Thinking about how I might share my experience with my fellow Councillors, I decided to prepare a short pamphlet.  This idea was taken up by my husband Andrew who produced a handwritten account of the walk as a birthday present.  Our friends Leonora and Roger then encouraged us to develop the idea a stage further, and with their considerable help this short book has been produced.  My wish is to share the walk and the wonderfully varied landscape of our parish with anyone who cares to accept the invitation to retrace this traditional ‘circumambulation’, either by foot or from the comfort of an armchair.”