The Shrine of an Unknown Priest and Saint

A Shrine of an Unknown Saint and Priest

The Shrine of the Unknown Priest - used as an ancient place of pilgrimage.

The Shrine of the Unknown Priest – used as an ancient place of pilgrimage.

In the Lady Chapel there is a monument to a significant saint-priest of medieval or earlier period. It is likely that it dates from C1300. His identity is unknown. His preistly credentials are evidenced by the chalice, paten and bible which are place lovingly in his hands. His saintly credentials evidenced by his long neck and tonsure – signs of extreme holiness. Although there have been many differing opinions from historians about its exact origin, it is clear that this would have been a place of significant pilgrimage for centuries, as the Holy Water stoup to the left of the priest’s head signifies – people will have visited this ‘shrine’, touched his hands and his face and then used the Holy Water to bless themselves before moving on. This is evidenced by its smooth wearing over time. This is probably because this unknown saintly figure was recognised for either his healing credentials or his protective ones, or maybe both. It is likely that this ceased to be a place of pilgrimage at the Reformation (16th Century) and that the Victorians moved the effigy when they re-ordered the church. It now sits in our Lady Chapel. Today it is re-opened as a shrine and place of pilgrimage. Although we no longer know the exact credentials of this saintly figure, you are warmly invited to continue to visit this holy place today and pray for healing and protection before The Unknown Priest and Saint.