Better known now as "Touchy Lane", "Procession Lane" originally a footpath connecting the top of Touchy Hill with East End.
You will probably be aware that many fields in this area had names such as ‘Hanging Field, ‘Tainter Field’ Woed-house Field, ‘Dove-house Field’, reminding us of our woollen cloth industry past.
The origin of the name ‘Procession Lane’ seems to refer to Rogation Days (Days of prayer and fasting in western Christianity), the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, preceding Ascension Thursday.
These days were observed for ‘blessing the fields’ that they might be fruitful in the coming season, and of ‘beating the bounds’ ie verifying the boundaries of the parish.
The procession would have started from the church with a cross-bearer leading the choir, followed by the clergy and ‘the substantial men of the parish’ as they moved along, a litany and psalms would be sung, whilst at certain places ‘stations’ were made, and halted for prayers.
So why Procession Lane as this particular lane is not the outer boundary of the village, one can only but guess but maybe it was too wet to walk along the marshes by the river, and with the total boundary of the village being 11 miles, using Procession lane reduced this by 2 miles.
The ‘Procession’ would march down Procession Lane to East End, up the Dodnash Valley and along the fields to the London Road below Lattinford (the top of Woodgates Road area) and along to the Four Sisters, then round Foxhall (the old Name of ‘The Lodge’), down the hallow from there to the river and back again to the Church.
The earliest entry in the parish register books that make reference to this route, written May 23rd 1745.
"Went ye Parish of East Bergholt. & in Mr Rands meadow the bounds Tree is cut down & no Post. At ye Four Sisters ye Post down: at Stone Cross no Mark, in Mr Marvens North field, Ye bounds Tree cut down, in Mr Marvins How Do, in Mr Wells’s meadow Do near Ye gate."
Sam How. Rector
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