Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 16:19 UK
Beating the Bounds in Llantrisant to celebrate charter
Thousands walk the boundary in Llantrisant
Every seven years thousands walk the seven mile boundary of Llantrisant

Residents of a south Wales valleys town will celebrate a centuries old tradition for the first time in seven years on Saturday.

Beating the Bounds began in 1346 with the presentation of a royal charter creating freemen of Llantrisant.

Every seven years thousands of people walk the seven mile boundary of the borough to mark the anniversary.

The walk was created to ensure that anyone who wasn't a freeman wasn't trading within the boundary.

Over the centuries the rural boundary has been replaced by developments including the Royal Mint, the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, factories, shops and houses.

However residents and businesses don't let the changing landscape get in the way of this ancient tradition.

Bouncing a boy on the boundary stone
A young relative of a freeman is bounced on the boundary stone

The Master of the Mint allows the walkers to march alongside the Mint, while the chief executive of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and captain of Llantrisant Golf Club also grant free passage.

One resident in Cross Inn will welcome hundreds into their garden so the sons or grandsons of freemen can be bounced on the boundary stone - the Maen Llwyd - which sits on their property.

This custom traditionally reminds the boys of where the boundary exists.

The walk is led by the bearer of the mace who undertakes the walk carrying the Llantrisant mace. It dates back to 1633 and is older than the mace at the Houses of Parliament.

Dewi John, a freeman of Llantrisant and resident farmer at Talyfedw Newydd at the foot of Llantrisant Common, will let the walkers descend on his land again this year.

Dewi John
Dewi John will welcome thousands of walkers on his land

"I have very fond memories of my life at Talyfedw Farm because the actual farm house was situated on the boundary line itself," he said.

"That meant that every seven years the Master of the Mace and some of the Freemen would actually walk through our living room on Beating the Bounds day", he remembers.

"It was an amazing event because the fields around the house would be filled with thousands of walkers and I'm expecting just as many again this year."

The family day involves a Craft Fair at the Swan Street car park, street entertainers and a large marquee on the Castle Green for performances by Llantrisant Male Choir, Llantrisant Ladies Choir, RAF Volunteer Band and children's choirs from local primary schools.

The Beating the Bounds walk is open to everyone. It begins in the old town at 1500 BST on Saturday 12 June and continues to Brynteg, across Llantrisant Common to the border of Ynysmaerdy, through to Talbot Green and back to Llantrisant old town.

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