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Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:17 am
by The Peddler
At the start of December I will be journeying on a pilgrimage from Southampton dock to Canterbury Cathedral (via the shrine of St. Swithun in Winchester) in extensively researched mid 14th century clothing based on that of the Bocksten Man.
Although there are relatively few accounts of pilgrimages in winter, I will be doing it then because I hope to arrive at Canterbury on 29th December, the feast day of St. Thomas Beckett.
I have promised myself I will only stay in Monasteries, Inns, or Almshouses that were there in the 14th century, as the pilgrimage is designed to replicate one that took place at the time that Chaucer was writing 'The Canterbury Tales'. As there are relatively few of these left since Henry VIII and the dissolution, I expect to spend more than a few nights out under the stars (or possibly the rain clouds).
With no tent, and only a scrip, staff and pilgrims bag for equipment, I hope to be able to make the 200 mile journey in about 15-20 days (short days in winter) but would welcome any feedback from those of you that may have completed similar trips in the past.
I have written permission from the Bishop of Portsmouth to leave my village and make the trip (as was traditional in 14C), permission from a few Ministers along the way to shelter in Church porches if in need, and am assured of a welcome by Canterbury Cathedral, should I make it.
It should be an interesting experience, and a good test of some of the clothing and equipment, much of which has been supplied or made by familiar traders and re-enactors, and some of which has been kindly donated (Ali, Tod at Foxblade, Ian Solman at 'Sheepless Knights').
It will also give me a chance to explore how the public reacts to the idea of pilgrimage and to see if people are still inclined to help in a practical way.
if anyone fancies following the trip to see if I am dead yet, there is a blog on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/14thcenturypilgrimsprogress/.

Re: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:33 am
by Brother Ranulf
Have you been in touch with the press about your journey? This would make a nice change in the Kentish Gazette (for example) from all the muggings, road accidents, drunk drivers and GBH cases that seem to fill its pages. Some of the national press and local radio people might be worth approaching, just to spread the word and boost your chances of some hot meals and drinks along the way. Good luck on your journey and fareth wel!

Re: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:16 am
by Brother Ranulf
Just to update you , there was some very good coverage of this worthy project in today's Kentish Gazette along with a photograph of the pilgrim in his 14th century kit. The report was reasonably well-written, except that it mentioned him ultimately visiting the shrine of St Thomas Becket (there's nothing there now except a candle). It mentions that he carries a letter of support from the Pope, among others.

Re: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:36 am
by John Waller

Re: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:01 am
by Marcus Woodhouse
Well worth visiting Stephen's blog. Well done, sir. Deo gracias!

Re: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:30 pm
by Miss Costello
Really enjoyed following your progress on Facebook!

Kate

Re: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:25 pm
by The Peddler
Thanks guys, doing something no-one had done for 500 years was very satisfying and absolutely knackering!