1 In 1673 Aubrey began his "Perambulation" or "Survey" of the county of Surrey, which was the result of many years' labour in collecting inscriptions and traditions in the country.
After the Reformation the processions gradually ceased to be ecclesiastical in England, and are now practically secularized into the perambulation of the parish boundaries on or about Ascension Day.
In former times when maps were rare it was usual to make a formal perambulation of the parish boundaries on Ascension day or during Rogation week.
Lambarde was author of the Perambulation of Kent, and founded the College of the Poor of Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich.
In England a parish-ale or feast was always held after the perambulation, which assured its popularity, and in Henry VIII.'s reign the occasion had become an excuse for so much revelry that it attracted the condemnation of a preacher who declared "these solemne and accustomable processions and supplications be nowe growen into a right foule and detestable abuse."
This clerical side of the parish bounds-beating was one of the religious functions prohibited by the Injunctions of Queen Elizabeth; but it was then ordered that the perambulation should continue to be performed as a quasi-secular function, so that evidence of the boundaries of parishes, &c. might be preserved (Gibson, Codex juris Ecclesiastici Anglicani (1761) pp. 213-214).
The perambulation or beating of bounds is probably a survival of the same type of rite.
Lambarde, Perambulation of Kent (London, 1576, 1826); R.