We have been working with Professor Catherine A.M. Clarke on the St Thomas Way project, a new heritage tourism trail from Swansea to Hereford. The website will launch on Saturday 7 July alongside the launch event here at the cathedral. With so much interest in the project already, Professor Clarke has shared four teaser articles with us to give more background to the project.

Who was the ‘Hanged Man’ of medieval Swansea – and why does he matter?

William Cragh was a Welsh outlaw (probably involved in the rebellion of Rhys ap Maredudd), who was hanged in Swansea in 1290 by the local Norman Marcher Lord, William de Briouze. Cragh had burned down the castle at nearby Oystermouth.

But the hanging ended unexpectedly: William Cragh came back to life.

Before the hanging, Cragh had ‘bent a penny to St Thomas’ as a way of invoking the help of Thomas of Hereford. The wife of Lord William, Lady Mary de Briouze, had also been praying to Thomas of Hereford for his help. (Why? That remains an unanswered question.)

When the apparently lifeless Cragh began to recover, Lady Mary also had him ‘measured to St Thomas’. This involved cutting a piece of string the length of his body, which would be given as an offering to the saint.

Cragh’s recovery was understood as a miracle. The testimony of nine medieval eyewitnesses still survives, in a manuscript in the Vatican library.

After Cragh’s recovery, he went on pilgrimage – together with Lord William and Lady Mary de Briouze – to the tomb of St Thomas at Hereford Cathedral, to give thanks. Their journey is the inspiration for the St Thomas Way…

The St Thomas Way will launch here at Hereford Cathedral on Saturday 7 July with a day of fun, free activities. To find out more about the event click here.To keep up to date with the latest news you can follow the project on Twitter @StThomasWay