AN expert in historic buildings has looked at medieval pilgrim routes of the British Isles for her debut book.

Pilgrim Routes of the British Isles, looks at some of the key medieval walking routes of Britain, taking in well-known religious destinations such as Lindisfarne, as well as lesser known routes.

It has been written by Dr Emma Wells, from Bedale in North Yorkshire, who works as a historic buildings consultant and a lecturer at York University. It was released last month and looks at pilgrim routes all over the UK, including St Cuthbert’s Way and looks at how the Northumbrian saint’s body was taken to Chester-le-Street, Ripon and Durham.

The book was the result of Dr Wells’ lifelong interest in historic religious sites and she has also written her PhD on medieval pilgrim churches.

“Since I was a child I was interested in this field,” said Dr Wells.

“Growing up in North Yorkshire, with places like York Minster and Ripon Cathedral, every week we would go into a different church. That’s what inspired me growing up.”

The book looks at the origins of each pilgrimage route.

She said: “Pilgrimages were often journeys to a saint’s shrine or relic, but they were for a variety of reasons.

“The very long pilgrim quests we think of aren’t representative of what the large majority of people were doing, because most couldn’t pack up their business and take time off.

“The majority of people would generally pilgrimage in their local parish, whether it was an abbey, cathedral or parish church. These grand, arduous journeys were once in a lifetime experiences that weren’t happening for every family.”

The book is available in hardback on Amazon, branches of Waterstones and other book retailers.