Later this month will see the Triennial Battle outside the Tower of London between the Beefeaters and the parish of the neighbouring church of All Hallows.

On the evening of Thursday 26th May, the Beefeaters will parade around the outside of the Tower of London and clergy from the tower carrying sticks will beat the Tower’s boundary markers that mark its ancient liberties boundary.

This is a version of the Beating the Bounds, an ancient custom still carried out by some churches to parade around their parish boundary to remind people in a time before maps where the boundary exists. And sometimes, the parishes don’t agree, leading to conflict. In 1698, the disagreement about the boundaries between the Tower and the neighbouring parish of All Hallows turned violent and riotous. Now, every third year, the people of the Tower and those of the parish of All Hallows church gather to commemorate that riot and pray that it does not happen again.

The event takes place on Ascension Day every third year and having skillfully leapfrogged the pandemic, it takes place once more in 2022 – on Thursday 26th May 2022.

On the evening, at about 6pm, the Beefeaters entourage will leave the Tower and start their procession around the outside, beating the markers into submission, before arriving back at the main parade space for 7pm. Here, they will be joined by the parish of All Hallows, where fraternal greetings are exchanged and promises not to fight again. Then they join together to complete beating the bounds around the Tower.

It’s all rather fun to watch and suitably weird in that bonkers sort of thing we Brits are so good at.

The parish of All Hallows also beats its own bounds earlier in the afternoon, starting at 4:15pm to progress around the parish boundary, including whacking the middle of the river, before returning to the church for Festal Evensong at 6pm. They then march out to the Tower for the confrontation at about 6:45pm.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with: ,

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

Home >> News >> London News