Invitation from St Mary's, Harvington

The annual Pilgrimage to Harvington Hall, Shrine of the English Martyrs, will take place on Sunday 1 September. 

This year the principal celebrant will be The Right Reverend Paul Gunter OSB, Abbot of Douai Abbey.

Mass is at 3pm with Confessions from 1.45pm – 2.30pm.

Free timed tours of Harvington Hall are available to pilgrims on the day and can be booked at the table in the Hall’s courtyard upon arrival.

There is free parking available. If your parish is bringing a coach please e-mail [email protected] by Monday 26 August at the latest so that a parking place can be reserved for your coach.

It is essential that you bring your own chairs and packed lunch. 

Harvington Hall

A house which holds many secrets, Harvington contains seven priest hides. Humphrey Pakington, who inherited the estate in 1578 was a staunch Catholic and thus subject to the harsh penal laws of the Elizabethan age.

Humphrey was a recusant, meaning he refused to attend the Church of England service on Sundays, a refusal that initially cost 12p a week but increased to £20 a month (equating to around £4,000 today).

From 1585 it was illegal for a Catholic priest to step foot in England, making it necessary for Humphrey to equip Harvington with the impressive priest hides, which visitors can see today. We don’t know the full story of these priest hides but we do know that some of them were almost certainly the handiwork of the master carpenter St Nicholas Owen. 

The annual pilgrimage to Harvington offers you a chance to reflect on our own faith and the persecution, and often martyrdom, of Catholics during the English Reformation.

Discover Harvington Hall

Above photo taken at the 2023 Pilgrimage