Way: from Lincoln via the Midlands to the SW
Way: from Lincoln via the Midlands to the SW (Peter
(or Fosse) Way, the Roman road from Lincoln SW to
Bath and on to Axminster, is an obvious route for
getting from NE England to Bristol and other SW ports.
Like other main Roman highways it is however still a
main road for most of its length, so must be shadowed
by the modern walker.
would be the first stop. This had a medieval chapel
of St James. It also had Franciscan and Austin friaries,
marked today only by Friary Road and Friary Court.
off-route to the N is Southwell Minster, a foundation
of secular canons, largely Norman with an C11 tympanum.
Just S is the village of Halloughton, where the small
church of St James is a C19 rebuild of a C13 foundation.
And further S again is Thurgarton, where the church
is what remains of the Augustinian priory. The Trent
Valley Way can take you further SW to Radcliffe and,
if you like, Nottingham, though nothing apart from street
names remains there of the Carmelite or Franciscan friaries,
or the chapel of St James (the church of St James on
Standard Hill was post-medieval).
was a Roman town, and the Augustinian abbey of St Mary
de Pratis there was once wealthy and powerful. The site
has been excavated but what little remains of the fabric
is now in Abbey Park. There was also a house of Austin
Friars. The N suburb of Birstall has a church of St
James the Greater with some Saxon remains in the nave.
of Leicester, the church of St James the Greater at
Huncote is C19. Foss Way becomes a B-road but is still
not very walker-friendly, apart from a short stretch
N of the junction with Watling St. From Stretton-under-Fosse
you can follow the Centenary Way W to Cistercian Combe
abbey, now a hotel and country park. Continue on this
route SW round Coventry airport to Stoneleigh and the
route to Warwick described in the Midlands route
of Warwick, at the village of Walton, in the grounds
of Walton Hall (now a hotel and country club), is the
St James church of Walton d'Eiville, an C18 rebuild
of a medieval church. Further S again, Idlicote too
has a, partly medieval, church of St James (see also
here, Foss Way continues on to the Cotswold villages
of Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water, but pilgrims
will more likely have headed for the shrines at Hailes
and Winchcombe. To get there, the Centenary and Heart
of England Ways can take you SW to Chipping Campden,
where the church of St James, with its splendid tower,
is a well-known late-medieval 'wool church'; however,
in medieval times, it was dedicated to St Katherine.
Cotswold Way starts in Chipping Campden, and this
is an obvious if indirect way to get to Hailes,
where only a few walls and arches remain of the formerly
important Cistercian abbey to which pilgrims flocked
to revere the phial of Holy Blood. To the E, Cutsdean
has a church of St James, though only the tower remains
of the medieval building.
bit further on is Winchcombe, where the Benedictine
abbey housed the shrine of St Kenelm and became one
of the most powerful in the country. Nothing remains
of it, however, the current parish church being another
well-known C16 wool church. To the E, however, you can
visit St Kenelm's Well, though the building over it
here, the Confraternity's Droitwich-Bristol guide
uses the Cotswold Way S, but this meandering route
seems an unlikely pilgrim route to me. More likely,
pilgrims would have headed either to the Severn valley
and Gloucester, or back to the Foss Way at Cirencester.
The minor road S from Hailes is marked by OS maps as
Salt Way, and Salperton further S probably means 'ton
on the salt path', so this is an obvious possibility
for heading to Cirencester. It continues to Lechlade
on the Thames, crossing Foss Way just N of Coln St Dennis
which, despite its name, has a fine church of St James
the Great with a Norman tower. The church at next-door
Coln Rogers is Saxon in origin. In Cirencester,
one of the most important towns in Roman Britain, only
the gatehouse survives of the C12 Augustinian abbey,
which acquired great wealth from the wool trade.
of Cirencester, Foss Way for once stops being a major
road, and becomes something pleasant to walk along.
From Kemble, near the source of the Thames, it is either
a track or a minor lane all the way to Bath. However,
it's likely that pilgrims on this section will have
diverted to Malmesbury, where the abbey housed the shrine
of St Aldhelm, in whose works (early C8) is the first
reference to St James evangelising in Spain. Just off-road,
the village of Ashley has a church of St James (C12),
as further S does N Wraxall, a C13 church with a fine
statue of St James as pilgrim over the S porch (see
also here (bottom of page)).
is an ancient site, based on a holy spring and shrine
to the Celtic god Sul, hence the Roman name Aquae Sulis;
their temple was dedicated to Sulis Minerva. Though
the current abbey looks very resplendent after its recent
clean and restoration, it is a post-medieval rebuild
of the Benedictine monastery church-cum-cathedral and
nothing remains of the monastic buildings. Note that
the parish name for the abbey is Bath Abbey and St James;
though the church of St James was destroyed in the Second
World War, its name survives in various street-names.
E of Bath, S Wraxall has a church of St James, and also
had a C14 hospice, now incorporated into Manor Farm.
heading for Bristol from Bath will have followed
the Avon valley via Keynsham, and modern pilgrims can
easily follow the Avon Valley Walkway. Little however
remains of the Augustinian priory at Keynsham.
S of Bath is Southstoke, where the church of St James
has a Norman doorway. A detour to the E will take you
to Hinton Priory, where are the remains of the Carthusian
foundation of Locus Dei, and Farleigh Hungerford castle,
where the chapel of St Leonard houses some medieval
of Foss Way between Southstoke and Radstock is not a
main road. At Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Downside Abbey,
a Benedictine community which moved from Douai in N
France in the early C19, is now best known for its school,
but it also has guest accommodation and retreats.
here, Foss Way continues to Shepton Mallet and Ilchester,
but pilgrims are likely to have diverted W to Glastonbury,
and to have gone there via Wells. Wells cathedral
was run by secular canons and based on a Saxon minster,
itself based on a holy well - hence the name 'Wells'.
See the cathedral website for information on the bishops'
relics that were revered there.
is probably the most myth-enshrouded place in Britain;
supposedly founded by Joseph of Arimethea (some accounts
even claim accompanied by Jesus himself), and claimed
as the resting-place of the Holy Grail (as well as King
Arthur). Pilgrims flocked to the Benedictine abbey,
a Saxon foundation, which became one of the wealthiest
in the country. Today, only the abbot's kitchen, lady
chapel, and barn provide any substantial remains, but
there is still an annual pilgrimage. Besides the ruins,
pilgrims can climb the famous Tor and visit the Chalice
Well; they can also stop at the C15 George and Pilgrims
Inn, based on an older pilgrims' hostel.
Glastonbury they are likely to have continued to the
Benedictine abbey at Muchelney, where the C15 abbot's
house, along with parts of the cloister and refectory,
remain. The River Parrott Trail will take you
S to Foss Way at Over Stratton, past E Lambrook, which
has a church of St James. Foss Way is then a minor lane
to Chillington, which has a medieval church of St James,
from where you can head S to Forde Abbey, where the
current house includes the remains of the Cistercian
abbey; nothing remains of the abbey church. Foss Way
continues to Axminster, but pilgrims may very
well have headed SE to the shrine at Whitchurch Canonicorum;
the Jubilee Trail and Wessex Ridgeway will take
you most of the way there.
Way roads (Sabre) PDF
à R.Uni Sud-Est
at wanadoo.fr - 26/12/2016