Medieval pilgrims in Gloucestershire

60246 CD26

Tim Porter gave a talk to the Fairford U3A, July 4th 2006, illustrated with slides. Tim trained as a musician, but has always studied history as well.

Pilgrim routes date from the Roman times. In this area the main route was from Cirencester (the largest town after London) to Bath (Aquae Sulis) along the Fosse Way to visit the hot springs. There was also a 4th century Roman temple now in Lydney Park above the River Severn, so the basis for the pilgrim routes along the Roman roads and by water on the River Severn were in existence by medieval times. Tim told the story of St Kenelm (son of King Cenwulf of Mercia who was murdered by his stepsister at a young age near Romsley, Worcs. The Winchcombe monks brought the body back to Winchcombe (a main residence of King Cenwulf) where a shrine was made. The route from Romsley to Winchcombe and then a few miles to Hailes Abbey became a pilgrim route. Wayside shrines and wells were built for places of rest, Tim gave examples.