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The Anglican Shrine Of Our Lady Of Walsingham

History

Blessed Sacrament windowLittle Walsingham village in North Norfolk has been a site of Christian Pilgrimage since medieval times. Pilgrims then were invited to pray in the Holy House, or England’s Nazareth, as it was known. This house was built after visions of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, appeared to the then Lady of the Manor, Lady Richeldis de Faverches. According to legend this happened in the year 1061.

Augustinian Canons were invited to come to Walsingham in 1153 to build a Priory church and monastery, and to protect the Holy House by enclosing it in a church. This became a thriving pilgrimage site until the sixteenth century. Pilgrims also came tO receive the waters of the wells in the grounds and to pray for healing. All was destroyed in 1538 along with many foundations across England at the Reformation.

Today however, many thousands of pilgrimas and tourists visit Walsingham’s new Shrine. It was built in 1931 with it’s re-created Holy House, enclosed inside the Pilgrim Church. They also visit the beautiful Priory Grounds where the ruins of the Priory and monastery may still be seen along with the well garden. There are woodland walks there too with annual snowdrop walks in early Spring that attract many visitors.

The Shrine welcomes all denominations and faiths, as well as school groups, and many enjoy its peaceful and attractive gardens as well as exploring and praying in the church and Holy House. Pilgrimage programmes run throughout the year and accommodation is available on site and in the village/surrounding towns.

 

Architecture

The shrine building, which was opened in 1931, was built in red brick and copies the Gothic revival style. The walls of the inner Holy House, and some of the altars, have stones from ruined priories around Britain and some from further afield, many have the location inscribed onto them.

Attractions

The new WELCOME CENTRE opened in November 2008. This attractive building may be found close to Common Place. There are interactive displays and a film room. There is also an exhibition about the history of pilgrimage to Walsingham and present day pilgrimage.

The adjacent new building THE MILNER WING with a new reception area and many new ensuite bedrooms is now open.

Local Interest

Walsingham Priory Grounds (ruins of the medieval church and monestary and site of orignal shrine that was destroyed in Henry Vlll's reign) 01328 820259
Tourist Information Office and Shirehall Museum 01328 820510
Wells-Walsingham Light Railway 01328 711630
Walsingham Village Tours 01328 820250
RC National Shrine (and medieval Slipp Chapel) 01328 820217