St Thomas Way – The Film!

St Thomas Way – The Film!

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Still from St Thomas Way Launch event film showing Research Fellow Chloe MacKenzie & artist Michelle Rumney

St Thomas Way is a new heritage-pilgrimage route between Swansea and Hereford, launched in July 2018. Here’s a short film from the launch day explaining more about this fantastic project.

St Thomas Way Launch Event – July 2018 (Film Transcript)

Professor Catherine Clarke – Project Director

The Saint Thomas way is a new heritage route from Swansea to Hereford inspired by a real medieval pilgrimage. in 1290 William Cragh, a Welsh outlaw was hanged in Swansea by the local Norman Lord, but he came back to life after the hanging. it turns out that Cragh had been to penny to Saint Thomas and Lady Mary, the wife of the Norman Lord, had measured Cragh to St. Thomas – all ways of invoking the help of the saint and after William Cragh recovered he went on pilgrimage from Swansea to Hereford and that’s what’s inspired our new heritage route.

it’s a route with 13 locations: At each one is a circular walking route, loads of multimedia digital content, interpretation activities, and interactive resources. At each location as well you can solve a puzzle to win a badge and that’s very much in the tradition of medieval pilgrim badges but with a virtual digital twist.

So we’re in Hereford Cathedral today for a really exciting launch event. We’ve got medieval pilgrims living history storytelling music of our own St.Thomas Way ale brewed and partnership with Mumbles Brewery here.

Art Exhibition – Re-Making Maps of the Mind: Medieval and Modern Journeys

We even have a wonderful art exhibition produced by our artist in residence Michelle Rumney:

Michelle Rumney – Artist-in-Residence

In medieval times there was a practice of Measuring to the Saint. It was when he was being measured to the Saint, which is measuring the body from head to toe, curling up the string and then making a candle from it – they’d send it to the Cathedral and they’d pray for your soul – and who wouldn’t like to be prayed for?! So, for me, that was the magical moment in the story because it was that moment that he came alive and he was resurrected basically and Thomas had saved his life.

So, I was on the phone to my friend in Morocco and she said ‘what’s the crux of this story?’ and I said ‘it’s it’s the string – it’s Measuring to the Saint’ and she was stood next to a man who sold string at that moment in a Moroccan market and I’m like: ‘Okay so this project has started, send me a bit of string from the man that stood next to you and I’ll start’. So she was the first one – she’s in the centre of the piece upstairs – she’s the big bit of Moroccan string! The piece up there is nearly 300 people and a Great Dane and a teddy bear – you have to watch out for those ones! And then, these pieces in here are to do with maps and gridding and finding yourself in the landscape. So there’s the trail over there, there’re just grid lines from normal maps – they hold us in space and time and I think they’re our way in to being able to see through time back to experience something of the Medieval way they saw things.

Chloe MacKenzie – Research Fellow

We thought it would be a really great opportunity to creatively explore concepts of mapping and journeying and think about the connection between medieval journeys and modern journeys and we thought Michelle would be an excellent person to do that. We took a lot of inspiration from the Mappa Mundi, which is based here at Hereford Cathedral and was part of the original, or believed to be part of the original, St. Thomas way shrine complex.

Michelle Rumney – Artist-in-Residence

Yes, it would have been amazing, because you’d have come into the shrine and not only have St. Thomas and his relics, but this amazing map full of stories and inspirations and strange beasts.

Hereford Cathedral – Place of Arrival

Reverend Canon Chris Pullin – Chancellor, Hereford Cathedral

The Cathedral’s involvement in the Saint Thomas Way project has been to resource some of the research and to provide the endpoint of the thing that the culmination in some sense of what it’s about – the place of arrival at this great shrine of Saint Thomas and the resources of our archives and library have certainly been brought to bear in thinking about the stories and in the telling of them.

Professor Catherine Clarke – Project Director

We’re really excited to share the route with local communities all along the 13 locations on the way and with visitors and our hope is that it will allow people to really step into the rich and colourful history of the medieval March of Wales. For some people, there’ll be a spiritual element to the pilgrimage and there is a spiritual reflection at each location written for us by Hereford Cathedral.

Reverend Canon Chris Pullin – Chancellor, Hereford Cathedral

I think my hopes for the project are that people of all kinds, whether of faith or no faith, will find themselves attracted to some very numinous places and made to, not just think, but to experience deeper things about life and about their own goals.

Putting Medieval Locations On the Map

Professor Catherine Clarke – Project Director

We also hope that this is an opportunity to put some less well-known medieval locations on the map and to bring in new tourism and visitors to some hidden gems and lesser-known spots and throughout the England-Wales border region.

See more of the project exhibition here: Re-Making Maps of the Mind: Medieval and Modern Journeys

The launch of the St Thomas Way: a new heritage route from Swansea to Hereford (July 2018). Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and based in the Department of English, University of Southampton.


St Thomas Way – The Film! was last modified: July 23rd, 2020 by Michelle Rumney

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