The Cistercian Way is a round-Wales pilgrimage route linking the iconic Cistercian sites of Wales with other places of historical interest. Route details and an outline map are at While not exactly a medieval pilgrimage route, it uses a number of the routes which pilgrims used to reach Welsh shrines, from Penrhys in the valleys of the south to Holywell and Gwytherin in the north. At about 650 miles, it is a challenge commensurate with the Camino Frances – and has been undertaken by walkers who have done the Camino and are looking for something to follow on. Current developments include the possibility that the south Wales part of the route may provide the basis for a ‘Camino Cymraeg’, a Welsh Camino to St David’s in time for the celebration in 2023 of Pope Callixtus’s 1123 Bull declaring two pilgrimages to St Davids the equivalent of one to Rome and three pilgrimages to be the equivalent of one to the Holy Land. It’s worth remembering that Pope Callixtus who did so much to promote pilgrimage to Santiago was also the pope who promoted pilgrimage to remote St Davids. He clearly had a vision of  Europe drawn together by pilgrimage.

Prof. Gray was one of the founders of the Cistercian Way in 1998 as part of the 900th anniversary celebrations of the Cistercian order. In this lecture, she outlines the route and talks about some of the experiences of pilgrims who have walked it.

Madeleine Gray is Professor Emerita of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Wales. She has close links with a number of heritage and community organisations, and is an honorary research fellow of the National Museum of Wales. She has published extensively on late medieval and early modern history with a particular focus on visual and material evidence for the history of religious belief and practice. She appears regularly on television and radio, and is currently working on a survey of medieval tomb carvings in Wales.

This is a CSJ Wales event, but all are welcome. Book below to receive the link. Tickets are by donation - you can add this at the online checkout stage. Proceeds will go towards the General Fund of the CSJ.  90 tickets available.

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