“Beating the Bounds” (or boundaries) is a ceremony of great antiquity from England and Europe, and we have documented stories of the mayor leading the community around Fitzroy in the 1800s.

Back in 1858, Fitzroy was created by excising from Melbourne the area bounded by Victoria Parade, Smith Street, Reilly Street (now Alexandra Parade) and Nicholson Street.

On 1 September 1860 the Argus Newspaper reported that the annexation of the “Quarries District” had been celebrated by the revival of “the old English custom of beating the bounds of a parish”, with a procession composed of the Councillors of the Municipal Council of Fitzroy, the local fire brigade and local schoolchildren, who “perambulated the boundary at its more salient points”.

At the time of the annexation of the “Quarries District”, there were 3 hotels operating in the district and one of them, the Scotch Thistle in Queen’s Parade, built in 1854, is still operating as a hotel, now named the Terminus.

– Reprinted from the FHS newsletter, October 2007 and September 2010.

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