A pilgrim badge of St. Thomas Becket from Canterbury Cathedral

This pewter badge of the head of St. Thomas Becket is a souvenir of the reliquary that held his skull in Canterbury Cathedral. Dating back to the 14th century, it would have been worn by a pilgrim who had been on a Canterbury pilgrimage -- like the storytellers in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Becket, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in 1170 in a dispute with King Henry II over the rights of the Church and a shrine was created for him at Canterbury.

A souvenir from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Before lead-alloy badges were produced, pilgrims on the Road of St. James of Compostela brought home scallop-shaped ampullae or phials that once contained holy water. The scallop shell, found in great numbers on the beaches of northern Spain, became the symbol of Compostela, and even today a French dish of scallops served in the shell is called coquilles St. Jacques -- St. James' scallops.

Pilgrim badge with image of St. Peter and St. Paul

This lead pilgrim badge dates back to 1200 to 1325, and was discovered in Norfolk, England. It may have come from a pilgrimage to Rome.

St. George depicted on a pilgrim badge

This pilgrim badge depicts a mounted St. George killing the dragon to rescue Lady Una. It was probably purchased on the occasion of a pilgrimage to Windsor, where the relics of St. George, the patron saint of England, were venerated.

The Virgin and Child depicted on a pilgrim badge

This pilgrim badge dates to around the 15th century and features the images of the Virgin and Child. According to the curator of the British Museum, it may have been associated with one of the several shrines to the Virgin Mary that were in London at the time.

St. Veronica depicted on a pilgrim badge

This brass pilgrim badge, dating to the 15th century, depicts St. Veronica holding out the Vernicle, the image of Christ's face that was miraculously imprinted on a cloth that St. Veronica gave to Christ on his way to Calvary. This badge is thought to have been made in Rome, where the Vernicle is traditionally venerated. It was found in Amien, France.

Pilgrim's badge, thought to feature St. Cuthbert's pectoral cross

This pilgrim souvenir was found near Durham Cathedral and is thought to be a 13th- or 14th-century pilgrim badge linked to the Shrine of St. Cuthbert.

15th-century pilgrim badge featuring St. Michael slaying the devil

This lead-alloy English pilgrim badge has a loop on the back allowing it to be sewn onto the wearer's hat or cloak.