Pilgrim badges and the birth of tourism

By james read, guest blog author on 26 Aug 2015
Curator looking at medieval Pilgrim Badges

Curator looking at medieval Pilgrim Badges

For centuries, tourism was a pursuit largely reserved for nobility. By the Middle Ages though, the rise of Christianity and success of the crusades saw a surge in pilgrimages across all classes, for religious salvation, to pray for relatives or simply to escape the misery of medieval life. This was the first time people were travelling en masse for reasons other than war, trade or industry – and was the beginning of tourism proper.

Read the full postRead the full post

The Final Three

By adam corsini on 9 Jul 2014


From 1981's excavations at Swan LaneFrom 1981's excavations at Swan LaneFrom 1969's excavations at Lefevre Road

Object of VIP13: The Final

Over the past fortnight the Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive has taken to these blog pages to dazzle you with the cream of the crop of our archaeological collections. In each of the three preliminary rounds,  five objects have battled for your favour in an effort to determine which has been the best artefact that our volunteers have come across during the 13th Volunteer Inclusion Project (VIP13). Here are the final three: Read the full postRead the full post

When objects get competitive…

By adam corsini on 1 Jul 2014

From 1971's excavations at Appian Road, Old FordFrom 1969's excavations at Lefevre RoadFrom 1981's excavations at Swan LaneFrom 1981's excavations at Swan LaneFrom 1981's excavations at Swan Lane

Object of VIP13 – Round 1

One of the favourite aspects of our Volunteer Inclusion Programme is that we come across loads of incredible artefacts spanning London’s history. And during our current project we’ve encountered some beauties. What we then like to do is get them battling it out, with you, The Great Blog Reading Public, helping to decide which is the very best. No real reason to do this apart from fun. So let’s get started.

Read the full postRead the full post

Animating Thomas Becket

By meriel jeater on 23 Jun 2014

pilgrim-badge

Some of the highlights of the Museum of London’s medieval collection are the pilgrim souvenirs from Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. This shrine was the most important in the country in the medieval period and thousands of Londoners would have made the four-day journey to Canterbury Cathedral, bringing back small pewter badges and holy water bottles as proof of their visit. Read the full postRead the full post

Pilgrimage to Gottsbüren: New pilgrim badge in the collection!

By meriel jeater on 10 Mar 2014

pilgrim-badges

Recently there has been an exciting new addition to the Museum of London’s fantastic pilgrim souvenir collection: a badge from the shrine of the Holy Blood at Gottsbüren in Germany, which was found on the Thames foreshore at Three Cranes Wharf. Very few pilgrim souvenirs from this shrine have been found in London, though more have been found on the continent in places like the Low Countries, Germany and Scandinavia.

Read the full postRead the full post

We Three Kings of Museum of London Are…

By meriel jeater on 24 Dec 2013

 

Pilgrim badge depicting golden church-shaped box that held the relics of the kings

Pilgrim badge depicting golden church-shaped box that held the relics of the kings


In the medieval period, the relics of some of the major figures of the Christmas story were revered at various holy shrines across the Christian world. Many medieval Londoners would have made arduous, sometimes lengthy and often dangerous journeys to worship at these shrines in the hope of salvation, healing, for thanksgiving or to atone for sins.
Read the full postRead the full post

From saintly to saucy: the medieval badge that wasn’t as innocent as it seemed

By meriel jeater on 25 Jan 2013

Cataloguing the Museum’s collection of medieval pilgrim badges for Collections Online has been a great opportunity for me to look really closely at our objects and sometimes to find out that items are not at all what they appear to be. A great example recently has been a tiny little badge in the shape of a comb.

Read the full postRead the full post