The Pilgrims' Way: From Winchester To Canterbury - Sean JennettCassell, 1971, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper lightly sunned at the spine, too short for the book which has resulted in fading to the top edge of the boards and head of the spine. First blank excised otherwise tight and bright.
Illustrated with black and white photographs and a fold-out map to the start of the index. From the cover: “Across the southern flank of the North Downs, through the lovely countryside of Hampshire, Surrey and Kent, runs a trackway of immense antiquity. It links two of Britain’s fairest cities, Winchester and Canterbury, both steeped in historical associations. But the Way is older than either and to call it, as everyone does, the Pilgrim’s Way is in one sense a misnomer, for it was used by Neolithic and Bronze Age travellers thousands of years before Christianity came to Britain. Its greatest days of fame, however, were the middle ages when pilgrims set out from the shrine of St Swithun in Winchester cathedral and trod the long miles east to that of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury. At first the pilgrimage was a penance carried out with great reverence, but later, as Chaucer shows us, it appeared to become the medieval equivalent of a twentieth-century holiday coach tour.
Sean Jennett, who has walked every mile of the Way, has divided his book into two parts. First he discusses the geographical factors determining the line of the track and guiding the feet of the earliest travellers along the slopes of the downs where the going was good. Then he places the Way in its historical perspective; retelling the ever-fascinating story of Becket and his struggle with Henry II and describing the churches and monastic foundations, the villages and towns which lie along the pilgrims’ path.
In the second part the author traces the Way mile by mile. Its actual route is sometimes difficult to locate and in places he suggests alternative paths. This is an eminently practical companion, with the author’s own striking photographs, and contains useful hints on the conditions likely to be encountered at different times of the year, on photography, on the approach roads, bus routes, accommodation.”