England

Man sets off on 'medieval' pilgrimage from Southampton to Canterbury

Steven Payne in full costume Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption All of Steven Payne's clothes are made in the same way they would have been in 1365

A former physics teacher is recreating a 700-year-old pilgrim's journey using only medieval clothing and equipment.

Steven Payne, 52, set off from Southampton's Mayflower Park to Canterbury on foot with a letter of approval from the Pope.

The two-week journey means he will be spending Christmas Day sleeping with just a woollen cloak for protection and a venison pie from a medieval recipe.

Mr Payne said "from my underwear to my hat is all mid-14th Century clothing".

The clothing is based on items on a body found in peat in Scandinavia.

'Pope doesn't write often'

Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption The pilgrim is taking medieval-style food with him, with the modern addition of a mince pie

He has been preparing for four months and said: "What I have had to do is research everything on how to make medieval clothes and source the right material and get a variety of different people to help me with things that were beyond my skill."

Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption The walker isn't taking a tent and will sleep under his cloak or in structures that would have been built in 1365

Mr Payne, of Petersfield, wrote to the Bishop of Portsmouth and the Pope telling them about his journey.

He was "surprised" to receive a reply from the Vatican, which was signed by Pope Francis.

He said: "I was quite surprised, he doesn't write to me often."

Mr Payne said he was following in the footsteps of Italian teacher Coluccio de Carrara from Florence who started on the same day in 1365 after arriving in Southampton by ship.

Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption Steven Payne said he would show the letter from the Vatican to people in churches if he needed a place to stay for the night

Mr Payne is not taking a tent and will sleep in fields under his wool cloak or in structures which would have been built in 1365.

If he experiences any resistance for sleeping in churches or chapels he said he would produce the letters from either the Bishop of Portsmouth or the Pope.

He is due to finish at Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December.

How do you pack a medieval bag?

Cloak - a waterproof woollen cloak which weighs two stone

Soap - made from olive oil and wood ash.

Deodorant - a block of alum

Fire-lighting kit - flint and steel, horseshoe fungus and wood shavings.

Food - hard fruit loaf, nuts, dried fruit, honey oat cakes, boiled eggs, cinnamon spice, dried apples, water, ginger wine (non- alcoholic)

iPad - for writing a blog (non-medieval)

Mobile phone - for emergencies (non-medieval)

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