|End of journey - pilgrims made their way to Canterbury
Inside Out treks along the Pilgrim's Way to Canterbury.
Join presenter Kaddy Lee Preston as she follows the route of the pilgrims.
Kaddy Lee Preston sets off on a journey back through time to tell you an
It's a story about a murder that shocked the entire
Western World... it's a story about a mystery over a missing skeleton.
Pilgrims' Way is one of the oldest routes in Europe.
Runs from Winchester to Canterbury.
One hundred and twenty miles in
Two thirds of the track is still identifiable.
historians believe that the route pre-dates the pilgrims and was used by Palaeolithic
hunters 250,000 years ago.
The great pilgrimage following the murder
of Archbishop Becket in 1170 made the road particularly popular for pilgrims.
Hilaire Belloc wrote the first authoritative account of the Pilgrims' Way'
But with so many modern roads and footpaths,
how much of that ancient road still remains?
Kaddy Lee Preston sets
out to find the real Pilgrims' Way, and see if she can follow the path of those
who used the route hundreds, even thousands of years ago.
Her first challenge
is to find the authentic route.
The map actually says that there are two
To help her investigation, Kaddy meets a number of
people who have been associated with the route.
One of these is a man whose
family farmed in this area for hundreds of years.
He says a narrow strip
of sandy soil marks the real Pilgrims' Way.
Kaddy also visits Chevening,
the Foreign Secretary's country house - this part of the Pilgrims' Way isn't open
to the public, but she gets permission to cycle through the estate.
Kaddy also meets David Russell - a dowser. He says the Pilgrims'
Way has an incredible 14 streams of natural energy running along its course.
anyone can dowse - all you need is a coat hangar!
|"Walking is probably the best way to appreciate
the stunning views of the Pilgrims Way..." |
Inside Out presenter
As Kaddy approaches
the River Medway, she is suddenly faced with a historical mystery.
did the original Pilgrims' Way cross the river?
The story of this river
crossing goes back to Stone Age man.
Much later the Roman Army crossed here
when they invaded Britain.
Best kept secret
Just a stones
throw from the river, Kaddy looks for Kent's best kept archaeological secret.
Kits Coty Stones have been here for more than 5,000 years, although today
they are rarely visited.
If only the stones could talk, just think what
they could tell us about the Pilgrims' Way?
|"Some Sunday mornings we have a constant
stream of 4 x 4, quad bikes and trial bikes. Recently we had more than 100 vehicles
racing up here terrifying walkers and local people. We dread the wet weather when
the off roaders come out to churn up the path..." |
Bailey, Local resident|
The Pilgrims' Way may have changed
little since the Stone Age, but sadly parts of it are now under threat from modern
Irresponsible 4 x 4 off roaders and trial bikers are being blamed for
damaging some sections of the route.
After Lenham the Pilgrims' Way turns
north at Charing and travels via Chilham and the ancient Kings Wood towards Canterbury.
pilgrims would have ridden into Canterbury through the West Gate.
the word "canter" is short for "Canterbury gallop", the gentle
pace at which pilgrims approached their destination.
But why did pilgrims come to Canterbury? And what
did they hope to see when they arrived?
In 1170 Thomas Becket was Archbishop
of Canterbury. But when he argued with King Henry II, the King's knights burst
into Canterbury Cathedral and killed him.
He was struck so hard on the
head, one of the knight's swords broke.
|Murder in the cathedral - Becket was made a saint|
Becket was made a saint and stories spread that those who touched his
grave were cured of any illness.
But then came the Reformation, and in
1538 Henry VIII ordered that Becket's bones should be burnt.
the bones really burnt, or did the monks who had guarded them for hundreds of
years hide them?
Is it possible they're still somewhere inside the cathedral?
Kaddy meets a man who has unearthed some startling facts in his hunt for
the bones of St Thomas Becket - Canterbury historian Professor John Butler.
1888 workmen made an amazing discovery just a few feet from where Becket had originally
In a stone coffin they found bones laid out in exactly the
same way as Becket's had been.
And the skull showed evidence of a sword
wound. The mysterious remains were reburied and remain in the crypt to this day.
Cathedral says these are not the bones of Becket. But if they're not, then whose
Today Canterbury Cathedral is the most visited tourist attraction
in England outside of London.
People come here from all over the world
to admire the architecture and see where the bones of St Thomas once lay.