The parish was for many centuries the limit of most people’s life. The parish was their social security system, their safety blanket in times of stress, their extended family, so it was vitally important that they knew the extent of their home parish. When people ventured ‘abroad’ they could, if the parish agreed, carry a document that would cover them against misfortune, with the home parish to cover any costs. Anyone without this security was known as a ‘stray’ and would be moved on by any parish they found themselves in.
‘Parish walks and ‘beating the bounds’ were the common methods of establishing the bounds of each parish, this was formally called Rogation. To some it was an occasion to pray for a good harvest, to others it was a chance to have a party.
The records from Leamington Priors are limited; the most comprehensive is the Leamington Spa Courier of the 17th. May 1856 which details a parish walk after a ten-year break. The whole party of 60 visited a brewery on their perambulations and later gave a ‘town functionary’ an immersion, two obviously not unconnected events.
There is also an All Saints Bath Place school logbook entry from 14th April 1863 which details that ‘12 boys had leave all day to walk the boundary’.
We have divided the boundary walk into 12 parts. To begin at part one click below
Links to all 12 parts of the walk appear below the Map.
Below is a map of Leamington Spa parish with the locations for the 12 parts of the walk marked on it. This is the civil parish map, which is very close to the original All Saints ecclesiastical parish.