Shield Scan

Medieval shield gets a taste of modern medicine to help reveal its secrets

One of Canterbury Cathedral's most treasured historical items has had a taste of modern medicine.

The 14th Century Black Prince's Shield was given a CT scan at Kent and Canterbury Hospital to help experts decide whether it was purely ceremonial or if it was made for battle.

The scan was paid for by the Cathedral and performed out of normal working hours.

The shield hung above the Black Prince's tomb in the Cathedral's Trinity Chapel for 600 years before it was taken down and replaced with a replica in the 1950s in an effort to protect the original.

Now as part of the £24.7million Canterbury Journey project the shield is being prepared for display later this year and this has given experts an opportunity to find out more about its history.

Radiographer, Peter Such, said: "When we scan something like this, we can really use the scanner to it's full potential.

"When we scan patients, we are careful about the amount of radiation. With this, we weren't limited, so we were able to get some rally good quality data about the shield and it's history."