HISTORY came in for a bashing in the centre of Oxford when parishioners carried out a centuries-old tradition.

Members of St Michael at the Northgate Church in Cornmarket Street went around their parish to confirm the extent of its boundaries and pray for its protection.

As part of the annual Beating of the Bounds, held every Ascension Day, they travelled around the parish hitting the 29 boundary stones with canes.

They were led by the Rev Bob Wilkes, the city rector, and Deputy Lord Mayor Alan Armitage.

Eleven-year-old Danny Baird said: “It was fun. One of the stones was near the Bodleian Library and others were around the colleges.

“We went to one stone which was in the centre of Marks & Spencer, which I thought was unusual.”