Project Blog

The tomb of Venerable Bede
Friday 15th April 2016 | Dr Tiina Sepp

‘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...

St Cuthbert's Shrine in Durham Cathedral
Thursday 10th December 2015 | Dr John Jenkins

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
Tuesday 10th November 2015 | Dr Tiina Sepp

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
Thursday 29th October 2015 | Dr John Jenkins

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.

Canterbury Cathedral in stormy weather (Licensed under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a> via <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/">Wikimedia Commons</a>)
Thursday 17th September 2015 | Dr John Jenkins

A response to Tiina's blog, exploring some of the ways that medieval pilgrims' experiences might change with the seasons.

Winter Camino
Thursday 17th September 2015 | Dr Tiina Sepp

I set out on my first pilgrimage along the Way of St James in Spain in June 2003 and spent three weeks walking from Burgos to Santiago de Compostela. In November 2004 I returned, eager to experience the pilgrimage in winter, mainly because on my first pilgrimage I had heard several people say:...

Image of Peacock pilgrim badge - BM 2001,0702.2 (© Trustees of the British Museum)
Monday 17th August 2015 | Dr John Jenkins

A look at one of the most popular forms of medieval pilgrimage souvenir: the pilgrim badge. At Canterbury, one such badge depicts St Thomas Becket riding a peacock - what is the symbolism of this odd imagery?

Remember St William of York and all pilgrims
Monday 20th July 2015 | Dr Tiina Sepp

At the end of the first round of fieldwork at our four participant cathedrals, Tiina Sepp looks at the topic of saints in light of her experiences of the past few months.

A depiction of medieval brain surgery (early 14th C, BL Sloane 1997 fo. 2r.)
Wednesday 24th June 2015 | Dr John Jenkins

John Jenkins looks at Archbishop Robert of Winchelsey, whose tomb was, alongside that of Thomas Becket, the scene of miracles at Canterbury Cathedral during the Middle Ages.

Canterbury Cathedral
Monday 12th January 2015 | Dr Tiina Sepp

My role on the project is to research contemporary models of pilgrimage, and as such I will be conducting fieldwork at each of our four case study Cathedrals (Canterbury, Durham, Westminster and York).

Canterbury Cathedral
Friday 12th December 2014 | Dr John Jenkins

As the historical researcher on the project, it will be my task over the next three years to uncover everything I can about the way pilgrims experienced and interacted with our four cathedrals over the centuries.

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