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The Beating of the Bounds

Instruction For The Beating Of The Bounds

No:44 Triennial Beating of the Bounds of the Tower of London

Tower Order by: General Sir Peter Hunt GCB DSO OBE DL Constable - HM Tower of London - 5 June 1984

The historic ceremony of the triennial beating of the bounds of the Tower Liberty, first records of which date back to AD 1555, took place on Ascension Day, Thursday 31 May 1984.

After a short Service at 1800 hours in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula conducted by the Reverend J F M Llewellyn, the procession formed up on the Broad Walk and willow wands were distributed to Choirboys from St Johns, Upper Norwood and boys and girls of the Tower residents.

The Chief Yeoman Warder with the Mace led the procession; members of the Yeoman Body escorted the Tower Officers and their ladies, and the Yeoman Gaoler with the Axe, accompanied by two Yeoman Warders, brought up the rear. State Dress was worn.

Two new procedures, have been introduced. Where access to a Boundary stone is narrow, a detachment of only 2 Choir boys accompanied by the Chaplain and Chief Yeoman Warder Beat it, while the remainder stand fast.

When a Boundary Marker is now situated in the middle of a dangerously busy road, the Chief Yeoman Warder points to it with his Mace, shouting Mark it well; this is answered by a shout from the whole procession Marked. These procedures worked well and have been permanently adopted.

The column then perambulated the Tower Liberty and between Numbers 7 and 8 Boundary stones, at the base of the steps from All Hallows Churchyard, the Resident Governor was met by the Vicar of All Hallows Berkyngchurch Aldermen and Common Councilmen of Tower Ward, accompanied by members of that Parish.

The Resident Governor and the Vicar exchanged greetings as follows;-

Resident Governor

Vicar of All Hallows, Aldermen and Common Councilmen of Tower Ward, we salute you.

On this Ascension Day, evening we are come to beat the bounds of Her Majesty's Tower Liberty. We greet out neighbours of All Hallows and assure them that, unlike our predecessors of 300 years ago, we come in peace. We are united in our efforts to maintain Tower Hill as an historic open space.

As a token of personal gratitude to you, Vicar, for your unfailing support in our joint problems, I offer you a small remembrance of the Royal Palace and Fortress in this my last year of office.

Vicar of All Hallows

Constable, Resident Governor, Yeoman Warders and people of the Tower, we bring you greeting from the City of London and the people of All Hallows. As we complete our own Beating of the Bounds we greet you in peace and will unite out efforts to yours in making Tower Hill a true meeting place for all men of peace.

We thank you for your gift - it will remind us of our close personal ties, and we wish both you and Mrs Mclellan God's blessing for the future.

Gentlemen present were then requested to doff hats, the Chief Yeoman Warder cried: God Preserve Queen Elizabeth and all responded Amen.

The perambulation continued thereafter, re-entering the Tower through the East Gate. The procession halted on Tower Green near the scaffold site and the Ceremony concluded with the singing of the first verse of the National Anthem.

Refreshments were afterwards served in Queen's House to the children and their parents, who had taken part in the procession.

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