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Mediaeval attire

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Anonymous

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#1
Well, I suppose this is going to be a long shot... But here goes anyway! I've definitely decided to do the walk from Canterbury to Santiago (in May - July) wearing mediaeval pilgrim attire. I just wonder if there are any of you out there who have practical experience of this or any useful picture material to help with the choice of clothing / equipment?

As soon as I decided on this, I realized straight away that there are immediate practical difficulties here. Footwear clearly is a real issue, but I might just go for trekking sandals and have done with the argument about authenticity on that point. (Safety and practicality must overrule authenticity at times but I want to keep that factor to a minimum.) Then I have the question of what kind of bag might be used? (I'd like to use my comfortable Deuter Aircomfort rucsack, but that would ruin the whole look!)

The planning for the walk will take place over a couple of months ahead, so I have plenty of time, and I also have someone who has volunteered to do the sewing or adapting of clothing that I might get hold of. See the blog which I have now prepared with all the details and a few more pics: http://whizz-kidz-pilgrim.blogspot.com

It may be a mad idea, but it will certainly be a good focus for raising charity funds for Whizz-Kidz. I expect I'll get some media interest and that will be good for fund-raising. I'm now liaising with the charity fund-raising people to get all the plans worked out for that side of things. I didn't realize what a lot of planning this would involve! There's the route through France, the costume, and the funding arrangements all as separate areas of planning. At least I've got the return-home flight booked from Compostela on 6th August: that only took ten minutes and it was remarkably cheap if you book this early.

Gareth
 

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#2
Pilgrimage is of all people, faiths, sferes and ages - for hunters, gatherers and smorgasbordians:

Hi Gareth,
I admire your courage and sense of history and detail! Did you consider not taking any luggage? It's done before * as your pictures show.
I know a pilgrim who walked from Holland to Santiago alone and had to pay for boarding only one night! Every day her host phoned ahead to the next stop.
Like in the early days it all depends on the proper lettres of recommandation pilgrims carry in their flat scribs.
As you also can see in some pictures the proper pilgrim's staff should have a fat knob on top and a thickening ring a little lower; it has to do with the Holy Trinity I read once.
Have fun and return home safely!
Geert
http://king-early-days.blogspot.com

* The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage:
Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of Faith to walk upon,
My scrib of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
- Sir Walter Raleigh
 
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Anonymous

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#3
PILGRIMSPLAZA said:
* The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage:
Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of Faith to walk upon,
My scrib of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
- Sir Walter Raleigh
Hi Geert,

I like the poem: I haven't seen that before. I think I'll put it on my blog. Yes, the idea of actually travelling with nothing (or at least the real minimum) is appealing. The traditional mediaeval pilgrim clothing should certainly be a help, as a talking point for making contact with people, as well as an aid to fundraising for the Whizz-Kidz charity, so there's practical advantage in wearing impractical clothing! Then, on the other hand, *is* it impractical? It may be that there are practical advantages yet to be discovered. We shall see. Thanks for your good wishes. Lots of preparation to do between now and May.

Gareth
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#4
The medieval period spanned almost a thousand years - from about the 5th C to the 16th C.
The medieval pilgrim included poor peasants to wealthy knights with an enormous range of clothing and styles.
Walter Raleigh wrote the "Passionate Man's Pilgrimage" in about 1603 whilst waiting in the tower to be executed. (He wasn't executed at that time but was eventually beheaded in 1618.)
If you have chosen to walk as a typical, early medieval pilgrim, you could contact Marcelino Lobato who is the most famous camino pilgrim with a poster of him in his medieval pilgrim garb in every cafe and bar across the camino.
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#6
Gareth, you could go quite bright and trendy (like those legs on the Rome pilgrim and the cute sandals on old Jimmy!) instead of dark and gloomy.
Here are two saints in their Sunday best!
 

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Arn

Moderator
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#7
Gareth,

It appears from all the photos and drawings that the pilgrim of the day wore most of the clothes needed, taking off or putting on as he went. From the carry sack I see, that was more for script, or scripture and maybe some money.

Since your state of the art pack is for all those things that are extra, or nice to have, may I suggest you take some good burlap, stitch it together into a wide mouthed- drop flap sack and tar, or wax the inside to provide water proofing...attach either a one or two shoulder strap and go with it.

As you well know, the pilgrim of today can fairly count on a place to stay all along the Way in the South of France and onward. As a Friar, there should be no problem gaining access to churches, gym, etc to make a similar connection.

Buen Camino,
Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#8
Gareth Thomas said:
I just wonder if there are any of you out there who have practical experience of this or any useful picture material to help with the choice of clothing / equipment?
St. Jean has at least one store full of old-style pilgrim gear - it was interesting browsing through it the day before I left. I suppose you could grab whatever you needed/lacked there at the last minute... :arrow:
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#9
sillydoll said:
The medieval period spanned almost a thousand years - from about the 5th C to the 16th C.
Yes, and since you've brought in that time scale, my particular period is the 6th century and the Syrian hermits of Monteluco, which subject I was lecturing on in Canterbury last September... and I wouldn't call it mediaeval (but let's keep that for another time...)

Yes, Marcelino Lobato is indeed a very well known character. (I think he lives in Logrono, is that right?) I talked with him for a while two years ago. As with several of these Spanish camino characters, he has some great stories to tell. Your photo shows him a few years ago, I think. Great talker, very sincere man, and a really excellent example. Have you got his sello? He has his own sello and it's a great catch!

Gareth
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#10
sillydoll said:
Gareth, you could go quite bright and trendy (like those legs on the Rome pilgrim and the cute sandals on old Jimmy!) instead of dark and gloomy.
Here are two saints in their Sunday best!
I don't do 'bright and trendy'. I prefer serious and historical, but stopping short of solemn and miserable, though I might become such after wearing the authentic footwear for several days...
'Dark and gloomy' sounds like a difficult thing to sustain all the way from Canterbury to Compostela, so I think I'll just settle for 'brightly historical and ridiculous.'

Gareth
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#11
vinotinto said:
St. Jean has at least one store full of old-style pilgrim gear - it was interesting browsing through it the day before I left. I suppose you could grab whatever you needed/lacked there at the last minute...
No... I'm walking from Canterbury. By the time I get to SJPP (and I know the shop you mean) I'll have been walking in mediaeval gear for forty days and more. This is a full length walking journey from home in England, not just a four week taste of the Camino Frances :roll: !

Gareth
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#12
William Marques said:
Another picture of a pilgrim in medieval kit, taken in Siena as he was walking to Santiago.
That is just a marvellous photo, William. I love it. Yes, that's what I'm aiming for. Not just the look but the spirit. Perfect model.

Gareth
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#14
Someone asked that question once before and I kept one of the replies:

"Not as far as I know. By the time Sir Walter Raleigh was living, the Camino was already becoming a little bit anachronistic. We were entering the humanistic phase in Europe and the counter Reformation was coming. St Ignatius Loyola went on a pilgrimage as late as 1523, but certainly it's true that by the Elizabethan age, pilgrimage was pretty much over. But Raleigh still remembered enough of the lore of pilgrimage to write an absolutely beautiful poem."
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#15
PILGRIMSPLAZA said:
Did Sir Walter see Santiago? All the parafernalia in the poem point in that direction, wouldn't you say?
No, Sir WR wouldn't have been entirely welcome in Spain, seeing as he was a senior member of the opposing imperial force the Spanish were at war with...

Gareth
 
#16
Antiguo [!] Camino Real or the Camino inglés?

Pilgrimage is of all people, faiths, sferes and ages - for hunters, gatherers and smorgasbordians:

Hi Gareth,
More wonderful reading in http://www.gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600121.txt :
“Johann van Kootwyck, who made the pilgrimage about a century later than Felix Fabri, portions of whose work have been translated from the Latin by Cobham, has left advice as to the outfit necessary in his day to a trip through the Holy Land. It begins by recommending the pilgrim to make a will and arrange all his earthly affairs, which shows what was thought of the prospects of his return. Then it sets out the costs of the passage and board upon a galley. That these were considerable is proved by the fact that before the licence of the Papal legate could be obtained the pilgrim must show "that he can afford to spend at the very least one hundred gold pieces on the journey." Now in 1598 I suppose that one pound went as far as three to-day, if not a good deal further. Therefore it would seem that the pilgrim must have possessed at least £300 to spend upon this enterprise alone--that is, supposing the gold piece referred to having been approximately of the value of a sovereign. Also he must take with him a box containing a mattress, a pillow, and a pair of sheets (these last seem an unnecessary luxury), which box ought to measure six feet long by three feet wide, so that it could serve as a bed. It must have looked uncommonly like a coffin. Perhaps the pilgrim sometimes returned inside it, and --good, thoughtful man-- had this contingency in view. Then he must be provided with half-a-dozen shirts, although collars were not considered a necessity (this is specified), a sailor's cap, towels, handkerchiefs, two pounds of soap (this, again, seems luxurious for a pilgrim), "twenty pounds of the best biscuit, some good wine, cinnamon, ginger, nutmegs and cloves, with pomegranates, oranges, and lemons, also sugar and laxative medicine." However, he was advised to carry no arms, to wear the roughest clothes only, so as to avoid being robbed, and, above all, carefully to conceal his cash. In many parts of Syria this counsel holds as good now as on the day that it was given.” - http://www.csj.org.uk/route-camino-ingles.htm
Did you consider sailing to A Coruña or Ferrol and take the Antiguo [!] Camino Real or the Camino inglés? Happy Landing!
Geert - http://king-early-days.blogspot.com
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#17
Re: Antiguo [!] Camino Real or the Camino inglés?

PILGRIMSPLAZA said:
Many thanks. I've just finished reading this, since it grabbed my imagination straight away! I recommend it to anyone! And see what a remarkable prophetic forecast H. Rider Haggard wrote in this 1900 travel diary about the perils of Islamic militancy. What is surprising is to see how Haggard is engrossed in the details of church history - it shows him in a new light if you only know his adventure stories.

As for my plans: it becomes more interesting by the minute. I am now looking at Worcester cathedral as a departure point for Santiago, instead of Canterbury. There is a possibility of making a documentary film, and I will walk in period costume (as planned) but replicating the pilgrimage of a 15th century pilgrim who is buried in Worcester cathedral. His remains were dug up in 1986 and he was found to be wearing his Compostela pilgrim's attire, with scallop shell and pilgrim staff.

It is early in the discussions still, but there is a possibility that this project will dictate a different departure point and a longer walk in England before I cross the Channel. And the project will become something slightly more public. Watch this space!

Gareth
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#18
Gareth Thomas said:
I prefer serious and historical
Gareth Thomas said:
This is a full length walking journey from home in England, not just a four week taste of the Camino Frances !
I get it...kind of like wearing a Klingon outfit to a Star Trek convention: for True Believers only (hehe). Well, Iive long and prosper, m'man (extends Vulcan hand salute)! :arrow:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#19
vinotinto said:
I get it...kind of like wearing a Klingon outfit to a Star Trek convention... (extends Vulcan hand salute)!
Ho ho! The medieval look is now becoming less likely... The idea about the film project has fallen through because the film maker can't be ready in time for my departure in May, so I will not go from Worcester in a re-enactment of Robert Sutton's late medieval walk. I'm back to the Canterbury departure point again. Still, that's what I wanted to do anyway :) And a new realism begins to take over, as I have now worked out that I'll be walking 1000 km even before I get to SJPP. If this is going to happen, it has be practically possible. I now see what's involved in crossing France and it is quite formidable, so I think I'm going for ordinary walking gear - after all - rather than pantomime!

Gareth
 
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