What is a Camino?

Camino means ‘path’ or ‘way’ in Spanish.  In English camino is increasingly being used to mean a pilgrimage or spiritual journey.  The most well-known camino in the English-speaking world is probably the pilgrimage way to the shrine of St James (Santiago) at Compostela in north-west Spain.  In Kent, the Augustine Camino from Rochester to the shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate, for example, was established in 2015.  The Royal Kentish Camino joins the growing list of caminos, or pilgrimage routes, that now exist in Kent.


Why is this route called a Camino?

In 1885, bones were discovered hidden in the wall of St Mary and St Eanswythe’s church in Folkestone. In 2020, scientific tests showed these bones were of a young woman who died aged between 17 and 22 around the year 660 AD. This matches the few details of the life of St Eanswythe that we know, including that she was buried in the church she founded. The most plausible explanation is that these are her bones, hidden when her shrine was destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII. There is no other shrine in the British Isles still housing the relics of its original founding saint after almost 1,400 years. The Royal Kentish Camino may be a modern route, but importantly it does end at a shrine. This is a very ancient shrine, dating back to the earliest days of Christianity in England following the arrival of the mission of St Augustine. Visiting St Eanswythe’s shrine in Folkestone is a unique experience.


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This page is managed by the Lyminge Parish Council Historic Environment Working Group