Distance, Duration, and Difficulty
The comparative spiritual values of pilgrimage distance, duration, and difficulty are explored in this chapter with particular emphasis on what was deemed most important to medieval pilgrims. It questions the degree to which the length of journey mattered, particularly in light of the importance of local saints as protectors of their people, and the difficulty of travelling any distance for those who were physically incapacitated. Looking at a number of key poems by Guto’r Glyn, it maps the ways in which a medieval pilgrim might view his options, and the distances he might be willing to travel to them. This chapter also asks how journeys which started out for secular reasons might develop into pilgrimages only over a short distance.