The Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion is an important part of the history of Yorkshire, as it united many thousands of local people disillusioned by King Henry VIII’s policies. The Pilgrimage began on the Western edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, with one group marching to Hull and the other marching to York. Many of the villages along and near to the Yorkshire Wolds Way played a significant role in the rebellion. The leaders of the uprising gathered 10,000 rebels on Market Weighton Hill and recruited local people on the way to York. It is likely that the rebels stopped at Nunburnholme Abbey, Warter Priory and camped at Pocklington common where they picked up new recruits.
Although not a pilgrimage in the religious sense, Henry VIII’s closure of smaller monasteries was seen as ‘the last straw’ by many people in the North. Today, the Pilgrimage of Grace walk links some significant religious landmarks including Pocklington Church, Nunburnholme Church, the Wolds Heritage Centre at St James’ Church in Warter and the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre at Kilnwick Percy Hall – itself home to the famous World Peace Café (serving vegetarian treats) and offering a range of overnight accommodation.