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Unique artefacts returned home to Worcester Cathedral
4:50pm Monday 7th April 2014 in News
John Anyon 7/4/14 1514566501 The Worcester Pilgrim artefacts in their new display case and part of a new interactive display in the Cathedral's Crypt...................Dr Dee Dyas from York University, Reverend Canon, Georgina Byrne, Mai
THE Worcester Pilgrim was discovered under the floor of Worcester Cathedral less than three decades ago and now the unique artefacts that he held have been re-conserved.
The boots and staff of the medieval man, found in 1987, have been in York, where they have been treated and put into a state of the art case to ensure they don't need to be disturbed in the future.
As of today visitors to the Cathedral can view them and will be treated to a new interpretation display, touchscreen terminals and mobile app trails telling the fascinating and unique tale of the 15th century Worcester Pilgrim.
Dr Dee Dyas, senior research fellow and director of the University of York's Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, has worked on the conservation of the artefacts and telling the story of the Worcester Pilgrim through interactive tools.
"Worcester Cathedral is of enormous historic and spiritual significance and it is a great pleasure and privilege for us to work with the Dean and Chapter and the Cathedral community to bring its wonderfully rich story to a wider audience in new ways," she said.
"We have been putting together the whole interpretation scheme of the story of Worcester Cathedral. The boots and the staff of the pilgrim are a unique survival.
"When he was found it was a great surprise. It's hugely rare for leather or wood to last that long.
"They are the only ones in the country. There are no other burials found like this in the country."
The artefacts needed to be re-conserved as they were showing signs of deterioration but Dr Dyas says the state-of-the-art case, new conservation techniques and the fact they are now laid horizontally and not upright, which was causing stress to the staff, should mean they last indefinitely.
"They should last indefinitely. They are in a state-of-the-art case so that should protect them."
Over the years research has been carried out to discover the identity of the pilgrim, who is thought to be Robert Sutton, a dyer by trade.
Dr Dyas said: "His staff has some quite expensive purple dye on it, which is quite unusual. In his will he requested to be buried under the statue of St James in the cathedral and the pilgrim and Robert Sutton are about the same age, in their 60s."
Other indications include requests in Mr Sutton's will and connections between the importance of being a pilgrim to both men.
At the unveiling of the artefacts there was also the chance to take a look at the computer-modelling methods which could be used to bring to life the monastic history of the Cathedral, as part of the future development of Telling the Story.
Peter Atkinson Dean of Worcester said they were looking forward to having the artefacts back at the Cathedral.
"We are delighted to welcome back the Worcester Pilgrim’s effects after their conservation, the pilgrim represents an important part of the story here," he said.
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