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Campaigners plan to revive historic Llandaff to Penrhys pilgrimage route

A project is underway to revive a historic walking route running from Cardiff to the the top of the Rhondda.

The Penrhys Pilgrimage began in medieval times, running from Llandaff Cathedral to the holy shrine at Penrhys. Now campaigners want to promote it to the wider world.

Penrhys is the site of a religious shrine dedicated to “Our Lady Mary” and was one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the Middle Ages.

According to legend, a statue of Mary appeared near the well in the 13th Century.

The current statue was erected in the 1950s.

All sorts of people would have made the pilgrimage. They would have come up by the River Taff to Llandaff, because it was possible to come by boat to Llandaff, and then they would have gone to vespers in the cathedral.

And then on the following two days, they would have made the pilgrimage up to Our Lady, to the Stella Maris, to ask for a blessing to make sure that they had a safe voyage. So they used to feel it was pretty important... it was like having an insurance policy!

– HELEN LLOYD JONES, PENRHYS PILGRAMAGE PROJECT

The Church in Wales has declared a 'Year of Pilgramage' in 2020.

Campaigners want to have the route fully mapped out by then, ready for an official launch.