|OS Grid: TF 930360||Approx 6.9m 11.1km From the Coast View Google Map|
|Latitude: 52° 53' 11"|
|Longitude:0° 52' 08"|
|Latitude: 52.886||Select another Norfolk Location:|
All of these things can be found in the village of Little Walsingham, which captures the essence of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It is a place rich in archaeological treasurers and places of religious and historical interest.
Set in its woodland setting, Little
Walsingham’s main high street is completely medieval,
with red-brick and timber framed houses, whitewashed
fronts and red pantiled roofs. The village has been a
place of pilgrimage since Saxon times through to 1538
and is famous for its Shrine of Our Lady of
The high street broadens out into a square called Common Place, in the middle of which is a 16th century octagonal pump house with an iron brazier on its stone roof, known as ‘The Beacon’. Originally the pump house had a pinnacle but this was broken off in 1900 during some rather rowdy celebrations.
At one time this brazier was the only
form of street lighting in the entire village. Pilgrims
still come to Little Walsingham and the place is busy
from March to November. May we suggest that you take one
of the guided tours as there is so much history in this
little town that you may well miss something otherwise.
The church of St. Mary was built by the canons, but was gutted by fire in 1961 though it has been very well restored. Contained within it is a fine seven sacrament font which was considered so good that a plaster cast was made of it for the great exhibition in 1851, held in the Crystal Place. There is a path which runs south through the fields and is known as the Holy Mile, between Walsingham and the Slipper Chapel. After the Reformation the Slipper Chapel was used as a cowshed but in 1897 it was restored on the private initiative of a local woman. 1934 saw the Roman Catholic church declared it a 'National Shrine'.
Street - the name comes from the
old prison, which is nearby and still has the treadmills
used by the prisoners in it. Designed by John Howard
this place is untouched since it closed in 1861.
goes that in 1061 during the
Crusades Lady Richeldis de Faverches had a vision in
which she was commanded by the Holy Virgin to build a
Santa Casa a replica of Nazareths Holy House where the
Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, to inform her of the
coming birth of Jesus. The Virgin indicated to Lady
Richeldis two possible building sites. Lady Richeldis
chose one of the areas and the next day work began. The
tale then says that the night after work had begun, Lady
Richeldis unable to sleep heard singing coming from
outside. She rushed out and saw angels departing
from a completed wooden structure, but not on the first
site but on the second site, beside two holy wells.
After that, miracles began to be associated with this
little wooden building. Eventually the shrine she built
was added to by both the Augustinian and the Franciscan