English Heritage

English Heritage
United Kingdom

A copper alloy crucifix found buried with a body in grave pit F12 dug against the south wall of the fort which was attached to fifty bone beads of various shapes. This creates a shortened form of rosary known as Paternoster (or Our Father). For those who could not read, reciting 150 pasternosters was regarded as equivalent to reciting the 150 Psalms. The beads used for counting were called pasternoster beads: usually a string of 10, 50, or 150 beads, with or without dividing markers. Thus example was probably worn on the wrist.


  • Title: Crucifix
  • Date Created: Post-medieval
  • Location: Portchester Castle
  • Type: Crucifix
  • Original Source: PORTCHESTER CASTLE
  • Rights: English Heritage
  • Medium: Copper alloy

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