An ancient tradition complete with reenactors and musicians will take place at a historic landmark in Dorchester.

The Beating of the Bounds will take place at the Roman Town House in Dorchester on Sunday, May 19 between 4.30pm to 6pm.

In tradition, on Ascension Day, congregations would walk around the boundaries on each parish noting changes. It was seen as both a time to bless the crops and the farmers that grew them.

Keeping with the setting of the Roman house, the ceremony is originally thought to have derived from a Roman festival in honour of Terminus, the god of landmarks, where offerings of cake and wine were left at the boundaries.

The free event will see Roman reenactors, musicians and storytellers bring the area to life whilst organisers have asked for people to bring their own pots, pans and rattles to mark the occasion with a bang.

Organised by the Dorchester Heritage Committee the event will be the finale to the county town’s walking festival, taking place from Saturday, May 11 to Sunday, May 19.

Some featured walks include In the Trail of Thomas Hardy, Iron Age Forts, Family Scavenger Hunts, Exploring Coastal Paths, In the footsteps of the Romans, the Big Dorset Picnic Walk and family scavenger hunt walks. 

For more information about the festival and how to register for other walks available, visit the the Dorchester Walking Festival website: