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Pilgrims

Pilgrims Passing To and Fro

Canterbury Cathedral

The Pilgrim's Path

in Southwark - London
The inn, demolished in the
19th cent., was mentioned by
Geoffrey Chaucer in
the Prologue
of the Canterbury Tales
as the starting point of
Chaucer's pilgrims.

in Southwark - London

within the parish of
Deptfort, St. Nicholas - St. Luke
in Deptford - London

in Greenwich - London
St Alfege, the parish church
of Greenwich, built upon
the 11th century site
of the martyrdom of Alfege,
29th Archbishop of Canterbury

in Dartford - Kent

in Rochester - Kent

in Sittingbourne - Kent

nr. Faversham - Kent
a pilgrims hostel

in Kent

in Canterbury - Kent

Archbishop Dr. Rowan Williams

from the website of
Ely Cathedral

lives and times of the
Canterbury Pilgrims

Formed to help Cathedrals & Churches
meet the need and challenge
of Visitors, Tourist and Pilgrims

a short walk to Canterbury

Along The Pilgrim's Way
The Pilgrim's Path from Southwark to Canterbury

ven though Chaucer does not tell us how the pilgrims traveled, it is easy to trace the way they must have gone. The street leading from Southwark is an old Roman road and today is known as Old Kent Road, and eventually becomes New Kent Road. In Chaucer's day it was called Watling Street, and it can still be followed to Canterbury or to Dover. (Interestingly, Chaucer writes of Watling Street in his poetry, but only in its usage as a common Medieval nickname for the Milky Way.) Leaving Southwark, the travelers would have passed through Deptford, Greenwich, and ended their first day in the town of Dartford. From Dartford they would have traveled to Rochester, crossed the river Medway, then gone on to Sittingbourne, Ospring, and Boughton-under-Blee. From here they would have either continued on Watling Street straight to Canterbury, or would have taken a southerly shortcut through Bob-up-and-down, depending on which road was in the best condition. Once they had reached Canterbury, the pilgrimage was over, for to Medieval man the pilgrimage was a symbolic journey that represented the course of human life, from one's home on earth to one's true home in the universal order. A pilgrimage was therefore declared over at its destination, and the return home was not part of the ritual act.
- from Pilgrims Passing to and Fro

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