The Influence of Editha
A pilgrimage from St Editha's Church in Tamworth to Polesworth Abbey celebrating the life of a special woman and her influence on a small part of Mercia
This project engages the wider community with the heritage of Editha, later St Editha, in the formation of the Mercian towns of Tamworth and Polesworth from Saxon times and through to the present day. The Pilgrimage route is 5 miles from Polesworth Abbey to St Editha's Tamworth and Tamworth Castle. Pilgrims are invited to walk the route in one go or in stages and are provided with heritage information along the way. The route chosen enables local heritage to be encountered and interpreted for local people and visitors to the area. It links with work carried out at Polesworth Abbey since 2011 which has developed the story of Saint Editha from the 600s and provides a new focus on Saint Editha's subsequent role at Tamworth, where she is foundational to the central heritage, the Church and the Castle. Polesworth Abbey became a very important destination for pilgrims throughout the medieval period and there is much still be seen, including the restored cloister and medieval gatehouse.
Along the route pilgrims encounter Pooley Hall near to Polesworth and Amington Fields and St Editha's Amington along the way. The trail is around 6.5 miles mostly along the Coventry Canal where the natural heritage of Pooley Park and the mining heritage so important locally will form part of the interpretation. The main focus of the project are the three St Editha Churches and the link with Saint Editha.
What will the project produce?
We will develop a series of activities/outcomes:
- There will be a Pilgrimage Trail booklet and web-based .... with connections to local heritage sites and national pilgrimages, inviting participation widely. There is huge interest in such walks presently and this project enables our area to join in.
- Activities at Polesworth Abbey for the ‘Pilgrims’
- A Pilgrimage Trail to inform and engage people with our heritage, to inform local people and draw visitors to engage with the heritage at walking pace by a booklet and map and by access to downloadable and online information along the route for adults and children too.
- New guidebooks for each church
- School learning resources for each church
- Family quiz booklets for each church
- New interpretation for Tamworth and Amington churches
- Trail booklets for walkers, cyclists and drivers.
- Virtual version of the trail on a dedicated website utilising augmented reality and 360 degree virtual tours, guided tours and augmented reality.