Welcome

This project asks two key questions: Why did pilgrimage matter in the past and why does it still matter today?

To help answer these questions it focuses on the rich histories and contemporary stories of four important English cathedrals: Canterbury, Durham, Westminster and York.

As well as exploring the experience of pilgrims in the past, the research team is also asking those visiting and managing cathedrals today to share their own experiences and views through this website.

Discover more about the project, its aims and those involved.
See where we've been and what we've been doing via our blog.
View and upload photos about pilgrimage and visiting cathedrals.

Updates

The tomb of Venerable Bede
15th April 2016

‘Is there any one feature or area of the cathedral to which people/you personally feel especially drawn? Can you explain why?’ ‘What is your least favourite feature or area of the cathedral?’ These are some of the questions that we ask people who visit cathedrals or who work and volunteer there. Find out more in this bog by project researcher Tiina Sepp.

St Cuthbert's Shrine in Durham Cathedral
10th December 2015

Christmas has long been associated with receiving ghostly and spectral visitations. St Cuthbert died in 687, but nearly 500 years later he paid a special Christmas morning visit to one of his monks on the tiny Northumbrian island of Inner Farne.

Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago
10th November 2015

We are now into the second year of our project and we have carried out at least one month of fieldwork at each of our case study cathedrals. Among other things, we were interested to see what model of pilgrimage the cathedrals are presenting.

An eider or 'Cuddy' duck
29th October 2015

We might think of St Francis of Assisi as the original saintly animal conservationist, but while he merely(!) preached to the birds, Durham’s St Cuthbert is popularly believed to have taken steps to ensure that some of Northumberland’s eider duck population enjoyed his personal protection.

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