England

Pilgrim completes 'medieval' journey from Southampton to Canterbury

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

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

Steven Payne began walking from Southampton's Mayflower Park to Canterbury on 16 December, carrying a goodwill message from the Pope.

The 52-year-old slept in his cloak, sometimes in fields and hedgerows or in structures built in medieval times.

He was greeted by the mayor of Canterbury and canon of the cathedral when he arrived on Tuesday afternoon.

Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption Mr Payne had his Christmas lunch at Rochester Castle

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

All his clothing was mid-14th Century in style and based on items on a body found in peat in Scandinavia.

He described the pilgrimage as a "great experience".

"It clears your mind and allows you to take a long look at who you are and what you are doing," he said.

Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption He spent his last night on the road sleeping in front of the fire at the White Horse pub in Chilham

More than 100,000 people viewed his updates on social media during the 200-mile (320km) pilgrimage.

Christmas Day was spent sheltering beside the walls of Rochester Castle with "an apple, a carrot, a substantial lump of cheese and some Rochester ginger wine" for Christmas lunch.

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

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

Image copyright Steven Payne
Image caption Steven Payne received a letter of support from the Vatican

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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