Hopital des Pelerin, Pons, France (2/2)
The interior of the pilgrims’ hospital consists of a wide open hall with two sets of columns down its length. There are a couple of side rooms at the far end and a door to an arcade and courtyard leading to what would have been the herb garden for the hospital.
Unlike the archway and porch outside the hospital, there is no horseshoe graffiti inside. However there are a couple of scallop shells, the symbol of St James and the archetypal pilgrim badge for those on the route to Santiago di Compostella.
There are several examples of protective graffiti: compass circles, a quatrefoil cross, cross hatching and a scratch dial where there is no sun.
There are a couple of merels. Both of these are vertically aligned, so could not have been used as game boards.
As might be expected in a pilgrimage site there are several crosses of various designs.
A striking feature of the hospital is the amount of figurative graffiti within it. There are ships, a horse, figures, a windmill, an axe among others. Somehow these speak more of the humanity of the pilgrims who passed through these walls than almost anything else inside the building.
There are a few names and initials on the columns, but not many compared to the arcade outside.
Report by Anthea Hawdon and Linda Wilson
Hopital des Pelerins
70 Rue Georges Clemenceau
Search terms: pilgrim symbols – scallop shell,circle, quatrefoil cross, compass circles – mass dial with no sun, cross hatching, crosses,hand, figure, faint figure, horse, ship, ship, figure cross, windmill,shield. fleur de lys, cross bow. axe,merels, 3 mens morris, 9 mens morris, taure, 1711, chi-rho, LB