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Thomas Becket Shrine

(Trinity Chapel)

Abbot's mill
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> RESEARCH NOTE ON BECKET FONT

The shrine of Thomas Becket, loaded with offerings of gold, silver, and jewellery donated by pilgrims seeking his healing powers, stood here between 1220 and 1538, when it was destroyed under the orders of Henry VIII. Pilgrims would watch as the presiding canon pulled on a rope which passed over a pulley to lift the wooden canopy and expose the riches of the shrine. Today in its place we see a simple burning candle, and depressions in the stone paving worn by the knees of praying pilgrims. See also entries for the nearby Opus Alexandrium, floor roundels, and crescent moon (on the ceiling above).

 

Sources:  see standard cathedral sources;  also source notes for Becket biography page

 

DL