Rogation Day Service and ‘Beating the Bounds’ Walk

This Sunday (14th May) it is Rogation Day, so The 3 Churches Benefice are holding a special 10.30am Rogation Day Service at the historic church of St James, which is the old Parish Church of Stanstead Abbots. This is a fantastic opportunity to join in a thanksgiving service as well as chance to appreciate the history of St James.

After the service, meeting outside the church at 11.30am, there will be a traditional ‘Beating the Bounds’ walk, led by Miles Dymock. Do remember to wear appropriate clothing for the weather, sturdy shoes and bring a bottle of water!

Miles kindly gave us some additional information about the walk he has planned:
The walk across along the Parish Boundary on Olives Farm reveals one of the many quirks of Medieval England, where in the 1500s Henry VIII altered the Stanstead Abbotts and Hunsdon Parish Boundaries in buying Olives Farm, which he purchased for its supply of spring water that fed into the newly created Fish Ponds that were central to his new Park, Ponds Park.

This was one of a number of formal Deer Parks, which were effectively enclosed spaces around Hunsdon House in which it was possible to stage manage a deer hunt with a high chance of success, though Ponds Park was possibly the most ornamental and may have been influenced by Italian gardens of a similar scale that Henry had seen in his youth. Many of these original deer parks will shortly be being paved over by the Gilston Development or be mined by the potential quarry development.

For those that are not proposing to walk the entire Parish Boundary the walk from the church to Olives Farm and back is approximately 3.5 miles and decent walking boots are recommended as it can get extremely muddy. The plan will be to stop at Olives Farm for refreshments, which is the halfway point on the circular walk and if anyone is interested to see some of the many Roman remains found in the fields over the years I’ll have these set out in one of the barns.

This is open to everyone, so do go along if you are interested!

One comment

  • Helene Johnston

    Hi Anna,

    I was away when this talk and walk was on and would love to have been there. Do you happen to know if Myles will do any of this again – another walk perhaps ? I run a history club for both Hertford and Ware and wonder if he would give a talk one evening for us ! Could you put us in contact please ?

    Many thanks Helene Johnston 07816071105 Hertford and Ware Local History Society


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