The processional step, 1 foot 8 inches, or 3 steps to 5 feet:
William of Worcester, writing in 1478, a few years only after the restoration of the parish church, mentions the monastic church thus: “Longitudo continet 57 passus, et latitudo ejusdem continet 30 steppys;” and the parish church as being “90 steppys by 40 steppys.”
† The Roman passus was 5 ft., being the distance covered by the same leg from its being raised to its being again set down on the ground; but we reckon the pace at half that distance or 2½ ft. The step mentioned by William of Worcester would be the processional step of 1ft. 8in. or three steps to 5ft. Upon this data the size of the parish church, 150ft. by 65ft., agrees exactly with the dimensions given by the old chronicler.
Parochial and Family History of the Parish and Borough of Bodmin, in the County of Cornwall.
London: Nichols and Sons, etc, 1870.
Pages 50 & 51.
Longitudo Ecclesie monialum postea canonicorum sancti Petroci quondam Regis Cumbrorum gencium de Bodmania continet .57. passus et latitudo eiusdem continet .30. steppys
In his introduction, the editor comments (page xv):
It is evident that what Worcestre called his 'step' was not a pace, but the combined dimension of his two feet placed heel to toe.
John H. Harvey.
William Worcestre. Itineraries.
Oxford: the Clarendon Press, 1969.
As Harvey shows, however, Worcestre's step varied between 1 ft 8 in and 1 ft 11 in.
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Last revised: 15 July 2009.