And having honoured the tomb of the Lord as best I could, I gave the keeper of the key [to the Holy Sepulchre] a small present and my poor blessing. And he, seeing my love for the Lord’s tomb, pushed back for me the slab which is at the head of the holy tomb of the Lord and broke off a small piece of the blessed rock as a relic … I left the holy tomb with great joy, enriched by the grace of God and bearing in my hand the gift of the holy place and the token from the holy tomb of the Lord and I went rejoicing as if I was carrying some rich treasure.– A Jerusalem pilgrim describes his experience at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
From The Life and Journey of Daniel, Abbot of the Russian Land, 1106–8
The desire to collect relics of the Holy Sepulchre is not just a medieval phenomenon. These two fragments of stone were presented to the Museum
in the twentieth century, underscoring the long-standing relationship between the Order of St John and traditions of devotion to the holy places. As in the Middle Ages, claims about the origins and significance of the two objects are made through labels, inscriptions and associated documentation.