Black Horse Drove – Student Cross Easter Pilgrimage to Walsingham

Each year, on the Wednesday of Easter week, a group of walkers can be seen carrying a Cross through Littleport en route from Ely to Walsinghame in Norfolk. One of their rest stations is on the river bank at the top of Black Horse Drove, where they have a time of reflection and refreshment.

Student Cross is an Easter pilgrimage that walks every year to the ancient site of Pilgrimage in Norfolk. There are eleven groups converging on Walsingham from various parts of the country, some walking 120 miles over 7 days. The Ely Leg is one of the shorter routes of 62 miles over 3 days.

They meet in a church hall Ely on the Tuesday of Holy Week and start the walk next morning afteer a service in The Cathedral. They then follow the ancient pilgrim route to Walsinghame, spending the next 2 nights in church halls in Downham Market and Harpley, meeting up in Walsingham with the other Pilgrims on Good Friday, staying until Easter Sunday.

The Pilgrims carry a life size Cross and it is carried flat across the shoulders by 3 walkers. They are a diverse group, comprising all ages from students to grandparents and from as far away as India, USA and Malaysia.

Should you see this group of walkers, carrying their Cross through our village and Droves, this is their story.

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