Study link “It is extraordinary that such a special role has survived over 500 years,” said art historian Jill Turner, whose research on the piece was published in the Journal of the British Society of Antiquities. During the Reformation, these manuscripts, which were a very important source of inspiration for their owners to pray, were often overlooked. According to experts, there should be only a few dozen of them all over the world.
“The study shows Christian devotion in medieval England,” Turner wrote. The prayer scroll, about one meter long, containing text and drawings, supposedly belonged to a wealthy pilgrim before it was purchased by a private collector in the 1970s. Wear marks indicate that the scroll has been regularly kissed or touched by its owner – a common practice with these things.
The piece gives insight into the ritual that must have taken place in the 16th century on a large cross known as a ‘Rud’ in the now-destroyed Broomholm Priory in the English eastern county of Norfolk. The pilgrims are said to have wandered there because the “burden” is said to contain a piece of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
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