Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Our Lady of the Park at Liskeard

The spiritual Marian pilgrimage having been to the extreme south east of the country yesterday now travels to almost the extreme south west to the shrine of Our Lady of the Park at Liskeard in Cornwall.

I have adapted and extended the following account from the website of the present Catholic church of Our Lady and St Neot in Liskeard, supplemented from the website about the Pilgrimage linked to below.

From the earliest days of Christianity in Cornwall, Our Lady was revered in Liskeard under the title ‘Our Lady of the Park’. A shrine to her had been established over a well, in a valley below the town, close to a tributary of the East Looe River. A chapel was subsequently built and became a flourishing place of pilgrimage. This appears to have been well established by April 1266 when Richard Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans granted an annual fair on the eve, feast and morrow of the Assumption to the town.

Pilgrims travelled to the chapel and well, arriving down the Mass Path, from what is now Old Road. It is claimed people were baptised using the flowing waters in the baptistery, the remains of which can still be seen.

Following the Reformation in common with other traditional places of pilgrimage the shrine was destroyed and little remained to show that it had ever existed.

In 1955 the original site was identified and in 1979 the first modern pilgrimage held. This was last held in 2007. The 1998 Liskeard mural in Pig Meadow Lane was painted featuring the key events in the history of the town and surrounding area. Our Lady of the Park features on the mural, holding a cross, in front of a shrine, containing a chalice, with the inscription Unity. The shrine is marked Ladye Park and deer are alongside the shrine, reflecting the long established deer park. The Virgin Mary is the earliest recognisable figure on the mural, reflecting the antiquity of the shrine.

Ladye Park is now a private residence on the edge of town. The Catholic church of Our Lady and St Neot has an icon that was specially commissioned to honour Our Lady of Liskeard.

Image: liskeardcatholicchurch.org

For more about the revival of pilgrimage to the site see The Lost Shrine of Ladyepark at Liskeard in Cornwall.

Our Lady of the Park at Liskeard, pray for us

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