Beating the bounds in North Mymms parish

Marking the parish boundary


Photograph of Beating The Bounds in August 1950 - Pauline Speary, June Chuck, Dorothy Speary. Image from D Denchfield digitally enhanced by Mike Allen
Beating the bounds in August 1950 - Pauline Speary, June Chuck, Dorothy Speary.
Image from D Denchfield, part of the Images of North Mymms collection


A centuries-old tradition


The ancient tradition of "beating the bounds", has been taking place in North Mymms for centuries. It involves a 17.5 mile walk along the parish boundary to visit, and ceremonially claim on behalf of the parish, various landmarks.


The natural history around Water End

Photograph of the path through the swallow holes at Water End, Hertfordshire


The following text was written for a geological walk around North Mymms in October 2004. It's been included in the North Mymms History Project because of its natural historical value. This site thanks Mike Howgate M.Sc, who is the recorder for geology for Hertfordshire, for giving us permission to reproduce his work.

The North Mymms war memorial

A memorial to the 60 who died in the two world wars


Photograph of the south side of the war memorial with Tollgate Road beyond. Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons
The south side of the war memorial with Tollgate Road beyond
Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons

The North Mymms war memorial outside North Mymms Park has the names of 60 local men who are known to have died in WWI and WWII. On one side of the octagonal base are listed the names of the 40 who died in the so-called Great War of 1914-18. On the other side are the names of the 20 'who fell' in the 1939 - 1945 war.

The Mimmine Domesday Book entry

North Mymms almost a thousand years ago


Painting of Domesday Book writers by Joseph Martin Kronheim (1810–96) in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Writing the Domesday Book
By Joseph Martin Kronheim (1810–96) in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1086, North Mymms, formerly known as Mimmine, was surveyed by assessors following an order by the king, William the Conqueror. The king wanted a record of how land was distributed (who owned what), and to work out what taxes were due to the Crown. It was to be a detailed survey, listing not only every piece of land, but also every person, and every farm animal, "not even an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine was there left, that was not set down in his writ". The document containing this information was known as the Domesday Book.

Postal services in North Mymms over the years

Photograph of postman collecting the post from Holloways Lane, Welham Green in 1966 Image from Ron Kingdon part of the Images of North Mymms collection
Postman collecting the mail from a post box Holloways Lane, Welham Green in 1966
Image from Ron Kingdon part of the Images of North Mymms collection

In the summer of 1972, local historian and photographer, Ron Kingdon, wrote an article expressing his sadness at the loss of the Rookery post box near his home in Welham Green. Ron wrote: “The facility of slipping down to the corner to post a letter, as must have been done for many years here, came to an end on that Sunday in July.”

Post boxes in North Mymms from Victorian times

Photograph of Wall box GR at the top of Bell Lane at junction with the A1000 Great North Road, Bell Bar Image from the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons

There are 15 post boxes in the parish of North Mymms, one dating back to Victorian times. The North Mymms History Project has mapped and photographed those still in service as of May 2018, and has also researched the post boxes that served the parish in the past.

North Mymms From Above 1960s

From our aerial photography over North Mymms series


Aerial photograph of Brookans Park, Hawkshead Lane, Water End and North Mymms Park taken in the 1960s Image from the NMLHS part of the Peter Miller collection

This collection in our series of aerial photographs taken over North Mymms features images shot in the 1960s. This six-image gallery has been uploaded in order to show how the parish has changed over the years.

Bell Bar from above 1947

From our aerial photography over North Mymms series


Photograph of Bell Lane, The Legg and Brookmans Park Golf Course, Bell Bar, 1947 Image courtesy of Britain From Above
Bell Lane, The Legg and Brookmans Park Golf Course, Bell Bar, 1947
Image courtesy of Britain From Above
This site has downloaded 50 aerial images taken over North Mymms in the 1920s, '40s and '50s. They are from the Britain From Above project and show how the area has changed over the years. This collection was taken over Bell Bar in 1947.

North Mymms from above 2002

From our aerial photography over North Mymms series


Photograph of Chancellor's School and Pine Grove from the south taken September 11, 2002 Image © Paul Large of Falcon Media - permission to publish granted for this site only, all rights reserved
Image © Paul Large of Falcon Media, all rights reserved
Permission to publish granted for this site only

These aerial photographs were taken over North Mymms in September and October 2002. The images include shots of Water End, Hawkshead Lane, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Brookmans Park, Chancellor's School, Brookmans Park Primary School, and the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station.

Welham Green from above 1947-54

From our aerial photography over North Mymms series


Photograph of The Dottridge Brothers Ltd Coffin Factory at Marshmoor and environs, Welham Green, from the north-east, 1952. This image was marked by Aerofilms Ltd for photo editing. Courtesy of the Britain From Above project
Dottridge Brothers Ltd Coffin Factory at Marshmoor, Welham Green, from the north-east, 1952.
This image was marked by Aerofilms Ltd for photo editing and is courtesy of the Britain From Above

This site has downloaded 50 aerial images taken over North Mymms in the 1920s, '40s and '50s. They are from the Britain From Above project and show how the area has changed over the years. This collection shows how Welham Green has developed since 1947-54.