framed pilgrims2

1. Saint Thomas Canterbury

A badge of high standard compared to other crudely made badges. It represents the sword by which Becket was martyred; the original kept as a major relic at Canterbury. Featured with a buckler or shield, the original badge had a coloured backing to highlight the design.

Original found in Salisbury

Late 14th/early 15th century

10.St Alban

Britain's first martyr in AD254 Alban, a Romano- British legionary at Verulanium, was converted to Christianity. He refused to give up his faith and was executed on the hill on which St Albans Abbey now stands. The badge shows the martyrdom scene where, St Albans head having been struck off, the executioner's eyes fall out so that he should never witness the virtues arising from the martyrdom.

Original found in London.

Late 14th - 15th century.

12. Purse Amulet

Medieval society was deeply superstitious and this pendant clearly illustrates this. It is a lucky pendant which would have been worn in the hope of attracting wealth to its wearer. It can be sewn directly onto clothing or can be suspended from belt. The two three dimensional halves represent a purse and within is a cast imitation coin.

Size 40 x48mm. Original found in Salisbury.

15th Century.

3. Walsingham

Walsingham, with its venerated image of the Virgin Mary was one of England's most popular shrines, and, until its suppression in 1538 drew pilgrims from across Europe. This badge shows the image of Our Lady, crowned and sceptred, with the infant Christ to her left. Original found in London.

14th century.

5. Edward the Confessor


This badge depicts a famous episode from the life of St Edward the Confessor. He is shown giving his ring in alms to a pilgrim who is later revealed to be St John the Evangelist. The badge dates from the reign of King Richard II, who was a fervent devotee of St Edward. Original found in Norfolk

14th century

7.Popinjay Badge

Parrots were rare and prized birds in the Middle Ages for the nobility. Similar ones to this have been found with love mottoes.

Later did the term ‘popinjay' become associated with vanity and conceit. Original in the British Museum

14th/15th century

9. St. Anthony

This pilgrim badge is made up of the Tau cross and a bell. The Tau cross is said to ward off evil spirits. It has an image of Christ crucified. The bell was worn as a talisman,  a privilege or it was used to collect alms. This is the badge of medieval saint, St Anthony of  The Order of Hospitaller's. A holy order dedicated to the care of the sick. London was a popular pilgrimage site.

Original found in the Netherlands.

15th Century

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2. Thomas Becket Slain

This badge commemorates the martyrdom of Thomas Becket showing the moment of death by four knights dressed in armour. It is one of the most intricate of  badges. This badge is similar to an illuminated subject in the Luttrel Psalter c 1340. A complete badge was dug up from the Thames and other incomplete ones were found showing less detail.

4. Crucifix

The Holy Rood at Boxley Abbey, an ornate screen that incorporated a life size figure of Christ, which was said to weep. Boxley was a favourite stopping off place on the way to Canterbury. INRI Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum is the sign Pilate had fixed to the cross saying Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. 1420's Original found in London.

8. Jousting

A favourite form of colourful entertainment during the Middle Ages. Contests took place at tournaments providing a venue for Knights to practise various forms of combat. It enabled the knight to keep in excellent condition for warfare.

14th century.

6. St. George

The cult of St. George was popular in the late middle ages. By the 15th century St. George had replaced St. Edmund and Edward the Confessor as patron saint of England. Relics of the saint are kept at Windor including his heart. Thought to be a soldier in the Roman army, his Christian faith led him to his death under Emperor Diocletian. The legend we associate with St. George slaying the dragon and saving the maiden dates from around the 12th century; this legend symbolises the vistory of good over evil. Late 14th century. Size 2.9 cm by 2.8cms.41.

11. Livery Badge - Arrows

1480's. Wearing this badge would show allegiance to Arthur, Prince of Wales, brother to Henry VIII.

The design shows a bundle of arrows tied by a buckled belt. Two arrows are blunt, three have barbed heads typical for hunting.

Original in Museum of London.