Penrhys: the Archaeology of a Pilgrimage Madeleine Gray Pilgrimages are the idea of the moment. Television and radio programmes are made on them; whole volumes of archaeological journals are devoted to them; David Lodge writes novels about them. However, the archaeology of pilgrimages has so far emphasised their destinations, the structures of shrine churches and holy landscapes, and the distribution patterns of pilgrimage souvenirs as archaeological finds. Some attention is now being given to the actual routes taken by pilgrims to the most important shrines and to the infrastructure of roads, bridges and hostels they used, but this has inevitably concentrated on the continuing traditions of the major European shrines such as Compostella and Rome. It is a far greater challenge to attempt to reconstruct the routes leading to lesser shrines, or to those destroyed at the Reformation. This article documents such an attempt, the conjectural reconstruction of a route from the Cistercian abbey of Llantarnam to the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Penrhys in the Rhondda, which was owned and cared for by the monks of Llantamam. After a description of the shrine, we will discuss the sources used to establish the route, then describe the route on the ground. This project arose out of a series of field courses organised by the Department for Continuing Education of the University of Wales, Cardiff, studying first monastic geography, then old roads and trackways. Documentary research and field work was carried out by Steven and Madeleine Gray and Allan Cook. We received valuable help and support from Anthony Packer and other members of the Fellowship of St David and St Nicholas, from John Varley, David Williams and Geoffrey Mein, from the convent of St Joseph at Llantarnam and the community of Llanfair in Penrhys, and from the incumbents of several of the churches on the route. Dr Christine James of the University of Wales, Swansea, read this article in draft with her customary meticulousness and made a number of illuminating suggestions. We cannot claim to have established a definitive route. Too much information has been lost, and too much of the archaeology has been obliterated by subsequent industrial development. Even where the original route can be reconstructed from old maps, it is not always possible to follow it through