STUDENTS from Worcester's Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College recently joined hundreds of other pilgrims on the annual diocesan pilgrimage to Harvington Hall.

The annual pilgrimage celebrates the sacrifice of the 40 Catholic martyrs of England and Wales.

One of these English Martyrs is the college patron, Blessed Edward Oldcorne and the students felt very proud to represent their college knowing that Blessed Edward made such a great sacrifice for his Catholic faith.

Before they went to celebrate Mass the group, all of whom are members of the Youth SVP, were given a guided tour around the house.

Harvington Hall is called the shrine of the English martyrs and is a moated medieval and Elizabethan manor house in the hamlet of Harvington in Worcestershire.

The Hall belongs to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and is notable for its seven priest-holes, four of which are built around the main staircase and are the work of Saint Nicholas Owen.

The Hall was given to the Archdiocese of Birmingham by Ellen Ferris (1870–1955), whose son Robert was Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons from 1970 to 1974 and later became Lord Harvington.

The students were allowed to climb into the priests’ hiding holes and quickly realised how difficult it must have been to remain hidden from the King’s men for so long without food and basic toilet facilities.

After a guided tour they attended Mass celebrated by Bishop Bryne and many of the priests of the Archdiocese.