The History Anorak

The History Anorak

Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Archaeologists have discovered the purpose of fragments of rope unearthed during excavations at an abbey in Nottinghamshire. The pieces were found at Rufford Abbey in 2014 but were not fully understood until they were compared with an item on show at Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire.

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.

1 comment:

  1. What a strange but interesting object! No wonder it took a while to find out what it was:)


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