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Ancient Southwold tradition is revived

PUBLISHED: 01:01 29 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 06 July 2010

The 500-year legacy of the businessman who left land in trust to Southwold was marked with the revival of an ancient custom on Friday night.

The beating of the bounds, a ceremony which dates back to 1836, saw two groups walk around the boundaries of the town, marking its borders to fix them in people's heads.

The 500-year legacy of the businessman who left land in trust to Southwold was marked with the revival of an old custom on Friday night.

The beating of the bounds, a ceremony which dates back to 1836, saw two groups walk around the boundaries of the town, marking its borders to fix them in people's heads.

William Godell, who died in May 1509, left common land and property to the town. In the 500 years since his death, the rents and leases have funded the town's exchequer.

The custom in Southwold was last carried out to mark the Millennium and involves two groups of people walking north and south to mark the town's boundaries.

The groups, including town councillors and mayor Sue Doy, set off from the new William Godell memorial stone at Nursemaid's Green and headed out around the town, along the seafront and across the river to Walberswick before joining up on the Common for a barbecue.

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