Wednesday, 30 March 2016
It turns out the ropes, made from woven copper alloy wires, are parts of a scourge, used by medieval monks as a self punishment, or to cleanse the soul.
Scourge use increased in the 14th century after the Black Death swept through the country. People believed the plague was a divine retribution for earthly sins and chose to punish themselves to earn god's blessing.
Rufford Abbey, first built in the 12th century, is now used as a country park. The scourge ropes were discovered during a dig in the meadow near Ollerton.