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Landscape historians are still debating medieval perceptions of the natural landscape. Meanwhile, recent studies of pilgrimage have focused on the pilgrimage as a moving sacred space, cut off from, and even potentially in conﬂict with, the cultures through which the pilgrim passes. A study of natural imagery in Welsh poetry to the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Penrhys suggests a more engaged approach. There is a clear sense of place and the natural environment in descriptions of both the route and the shrine, presenting the natural world as blessing rather than challenge. This paper does not suggest anything ‘Celtic’ in the use of nature imagery – the chthonic element is important in Marian shrines in both Eastern and Western traditions: but there are parallels in Welsh poetry to other Marian shrines.
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Madeline Gray (Lecturer)2017
Madeline Gray (Lecturer)2012