Pilgrim badges at Southwark Cathedral

This summer a small but fascinating display of medieval pilgrim badges can be found just inside Southwark Cathedral’s main entrance opposite the river.bc weather

Included are three 14th-century Thomas Becket badges, one being an ampulla, and a 15th-century example.

A rare find is a Boxley Abbey badge depicting its famous rood which had moving figures operated like puppets. Pilgrims from Southwark to Canterbury would have stopped at Boxley shortly after crossing the River Medway.

Today little remains of the abbey which is now a residence.

But the pilgrims still divert to an alternative lower route at Boxley as if still visiting the abbey which had accommodation. Now pilgrims walk through a vineyard above the monastic site to Boxley village which has an ancient church opposite a pub.

Also in the display are badges from Rocamador in France, Chester, Willesden and Windsor (for Henry VI who was nearly proclaimed as a saint.)

The badges are on loan from Colin Torode of Lionheart Replicas.

Admission to Southwark Cathedral is free.

The Boxley badge
The roof of the surviving Boxley Abbey barn
Pilgrims’ Way route though Boxley vineyard

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