Round About Conisboro’ – Beating the Bounds (1)

July 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, July 14

Round About Conisboro┬┤

Many of the old customs which were observed by out forefathers, and which afforded a welcome break in what appears to us a somewhat monotonous existence have fallen into disuse. True, we still recognise the patronal feast, which once upon a time had a religious significance, but which has now degenerated into d day of exodus for many, and for others a day of rest from toil with a more copious fare of cakes and ale if the pocket permits.

Papers relating to the old custom of “beating the bounds” of the parish were shown to me the other day by the Vicar of Conisbrough. The more dignified term “perambulation” is used in the document itself, which was written in 1818. It was well written, and obviously the work of one who received a fairly good education, and purports to be a “Memorandum of a perambulation taken on the 23 rd day of May, 1816, by James Whitaker and Thomas Waterhouse, churchwardens”, together with 12 other parishioners whose names are given in the document.

The meeting place was evidently at a point on the parish boundary at “a certain stile in the Park fence at the bottom of Christopher Travis Close”. From the stile the party proceeded to a cross upon Cockhill where a halt was called, and, no doubt with a view to impress upon the men of the future the point in question as notable one, the party “made some remarks by setting some of the boys upon their heads upon the said cross”. The parish boundary was then traversed to five lane ends, which is easily recognisable today, “commonly called White Cross”. Here the inner man evidently craved attention for at this point the party “made some remarks by digging up a sod and getting a refreshment of bread and ale.”

The Eastern boundary of the Parish was now followed and Doncaster Road reached, along which the party proceeded to Warmsworth, calling in houses upon the way before returning to the Parish of Conisborough

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