St Thomas Way

Introduction to project

A new heritage route from Swansea to Hereford, inspired by a real medieval pilgrimage

In 1290, an unlikely group of pilgrims set off from Swansea for the shrine of St Thomas at Hereford Cathedral. Among them was William Cragh, a Welsh outlaw, walking barefoot, wearing a rope noose around his neck. William Cragh had been hanged in Swansea by Lord William de Briouze, the Norman ruler. But Cragh’s execution had ended unexpectedly: the dead man came back to life, in what local people understood as a miracle of St Thomas of Hereford. Now William Cragh travelled – together with Lord and Lady de Briouze – to give thanks at the tomb of the saint.

With the St Thomas Way, you can Follow in the footsteps of these medieval pilgrims through the Welsh Marches (borders). Discover magnificent castles and cathedrals, hidden treasures, natural beauty, and fascinating stories from the medieval past.

The St Thomas Way is not a linear route, but instead 13 locations, each with a circular walk. You can explore most locations on the Way from your car. You can dip into the 13 locations in any order, or complete the full route from Swansea to Hereford.

The official website hosts all the St Thomas Way multimedia content, including images, audio, video, virtual tours, activities for families, and the opportunity to collect virtual pilgrim badges.

The St Thomas Way project was funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and led by Professor Catherine Clarke (then at the University of Southampton) with Dr Chloe McKenzie, in partnership with Hereford Cathedral.