The custom of Beating the Bounds was revived in 1957 after a gap of over 100 years. Originally, the Mayor and Sheriff, accompanied by other civic dignitaries, toured the bounds of the borough of Southampton on horseback to check it was intact.

More recently, this responsibility has been undertaken by the Sheriff of Southampton and Service Director, Legal and Governance; however, it is now undertaken by car rather than on horseback. Although the route for the ceremony is chosen by the Sheriff and may alter slightly from year to year, some of the historic, ancient boundaries are still visited, along with some more modern ones.

In recent years, Sheriffs have encouraged participation by local school children. At various pre-chosen boundary stones, the children assemble and, together with the Sheriff, beat back some of the undergrowth to make the boundary clear.

After the boundary has been toured and checked to be intact, the Sheriff returns to the Civic Centre, where he/she takes on the duties of Foreman/Madam Foreman of the Jury at Court Leet.


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