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School of Divinity
Aspects of the High Middle Ages

New College

Margery Kempe

These maps show the pilgrimages of one woman who was able to travel widely in 15th century Europe. Margery Kempe is unusual not only for the extent of her journeys but also for  her mysticism and the fact that she used a scribe to whom she dictated a book leaving us a record of her experience. Her travels reveal the importance of pilgrimage, both local and international, in Medieval devotion.

First Great Pilgrimage 1413-1415

Map showing the First Great Pilgrimage by Margery Kempe

This map shows the pilgrimage of Margery Kempe to Jerusalem begun when she was 40 years old. From her hometown of King’s Lynn she travelled via Norwich to Great Yarmouth sailing to Zierikzee. She continued on to Constance and Bologna then sailed from Venice to the Holy Land. Returning via Venice she visited further pilgrimage sites at Assisi, Rome, Middleburg and Norwich.

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela 1417-1418

Map showing the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela by Margery Kempe

On her second journey Margery travelled via Bristol to the important shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. She returned visiting English centres of pilgrimage at Hailes Abbey, Leicester, Melton Mowbray, York, Bridlington, Hull, Hessle, Beverley, Lincoln, West Lynn, London and Ely before she returned to her home in King’s Lynn.

Pilgrimage to Prussia 1433-1434

Map Showing the Pilgrimage to Prussia by Margery Kempe

Margery’s last journey took her via Norwich and Ipswich to Norway. She visited shrines in Danzig, Stralsund, Bad Wilsnack and Aachen before sailing from Calais to Dover. On her way home she continued her pilgrimage in Canterbury, London and at Syon Abbey.